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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  March 12, 2011 2:00am-6:00am EST

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air strikes? what did you ask for? >> well, we asked them for anything that makes this revolution go through and for gaddafi to step down. anything we can do for this. this revolution will not go back. the libyans have no choice, either victory or die. gaddafi will slaughter them. anything that can help, we are ready to except as long as there is no physical presence on our soil. -- we're ready to accept. >> you asked about a divided libya. this is impossible. believe me, believe me, i am from the south. most of my friends are from benghazi.
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my wife is from the middle of libya. if you can divide yourself, your body, you can divide libya. [applause] >> for the sake of his schedule, i would like to thank him very much. >> i would like to say thank you to the libyan community, thank you for the press for being here today. thank you for taking take care of our host. thank you on behalf of the libyan people. i would like to thank the ambassador. he came to the foreign affairs department in 2000. i did not know him at that time. he was the director of the america department and of your department. -- and europe department.
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after a year, he said miti candidate to open our mission there. -- he sent me to canada to open our mission there. he was my boss and he still is. i would like to thank him very much from joining us today. he came all the way from new york. the speech he made in security council, that is a historical speech. that makes people cry inside of the room, outside, and all over the world. he is a man with principle, he is a man with thinking. i am very happy that we have someone like him. he stands with the libyan revolution and for the cause of libya. he believes in freedom, justice, hope, a human libya. i am very proud to know you and work with you. you were my boss and you are still. [applause]
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>> i would like to thank all of the panelists. they have been working day and night to bring this together. i would like to thank all of the libyans and those who came from around the country to attend with us. thank you for really joining us and for being a real patriot libyans. [applause] before the libyan attendance, we need you to stay here for a while. -- for the libyans, we need you to stay here for a while. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> also today, the u.n. secretary general named a special envoy to libya to assist with the amana to -- with the humanitarian crisis. they both spoke briefly with reporters to talk about the u.n.'s role in the region. this is about 10 minutes. >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. i am very pleased to be here with you. i am joined by my new special envoy to libya. as you know, he has served as the foreign minister of jordan and he is now serving as a senator of jordan. we just have completed a very detailed discussions concerning the fooled by mentions of the -- full dimensions of the crisis in libya and the role he will play. as the former foreign minister of jordan, he brings a seasoned understanding of the dynamics
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of the region and a wealth of experience. this is a critical and demanding assignment and i am grateful to him for taking it on. our most immediate challenges our humanitarian. with each day, the death toll mounts and the situation for the libyan people grows more desperate. we have all seen how the fighting has escalated. civilians have borne the brunt of the violence. increasingly, they are being targeted. my message has been strong and consistent, the violence must stop. humanitarian aid must get to those in need. those responsible for violence against civilians will be held accountable. a peaceful resolution must be found. that is why i have decided to dispatch abdul ilah khatib to libya soon.
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he will depart from new york over the weekend it joined by a team that includes senior monetary officials as well as -- humanitarian officials as well as the staff from political affairs and the office of the high commissioner for human rights. i expect him to arrive in tripoli very soon are the next week. -- early next week. the objective will be to assess the situation on the ground and undertake broad consultations with the libyan authorities on the immediate humanitarian, political, and security situation. i have instructed him to convey in no uncertain terms the concerns of the united nations and the international community as expressed in the security council resolutions. he will report back to me as he continues his work. he will need to concerts -- consult with the libyan authorities and other parties as well as with the neighboring
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states and regional organizations on how best to resolve the crisis. yesterday, i met with the members of the security council who informed me that they are continuing to engage fully on these issues both to ensure the implementation of the security council resolution as well as to consider next steps. for my part, i have been consulting vary widely on libya and also the challenges in the region. in every conversation and at every opportunity, i have urged the leaders to listen to the voices of their people, to keep the aspirations for change and towards a better future and a fully inclusive democracy. i will go to the region myself later this week and i intend to
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visit egypt and tunisia. just before that, i will consult with the central american leaders in guatemala. thank you very much. i would like to introduce mr. khatib. >> thank you very much. i would like to thank the secretary general for his work and confidence in me and choosing me for this delicate and crucial mission. i accepted the secretary general's officer -- offered in the hopes that i can help libya and its people to overcome the current crisis. i'm understand the complex nature of this task and the gravity of the situation on the ground. i start my mission hoping that this effort that i undertake on behalf of the international community will exceed -- will succeed in stopping the killings and addressing there's humanitarian needs and preserving the unity of the
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libyan people and the integrity of their homeland. achieving these goals is essential for enabling the libyan people to choose their future and determine their destiny. i look forward to conducting this mission in full cooperation with the secretary general and with the relevant u.n. agencies and their leadership as well as with member states. i will commence as soon as possible my contacts and consultations with the arab and african group and other states in order to coordinate an effort in assisting the libyan people. i look forward to the full support by the secretary general and his staff. thank you very much. >> mr. secretary-general, first of all, how long will your team headed by the foreign minister will stay in libya and will you ensure the freedom of movement?
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my question to you will be in arabic. [speaking arabic] >> [speaking foreign language]
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>> [speaking foreign language] >> [speaking foreign language] >> wednesday morning, i had a telephone talk with the foreign minister of libya and we discussed my intention of dispatching mr. khatib. the libyan government welcomed his visit. his visit for the exact duration of his say, we will have to see. he will be there for several days meeting with government officials and other necessary people. that is not yet sure. then he will come back to brief me in the region while i will
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be traveling in tunisia and egypt. then we will discuss further steps of his work. >> you said that the main purpose at the moment is humanitarian but to what degree do you see this as a political role in taking a central position in trying to mediate a situation like cease-fire or whatever? >> he is a special envoy of the secretary general to libya. at this time, we expect that we need to take urgent action to stop all of this violence. this has very serious humanitarian implications. he will focus on putting an end to the violence. i expect that he will be engaged in broader dimensions of this crisis, including
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political issues. >> will mr. khatib meet with the opposition government? >> i will try to learn as much as possible about the details of the situation on the ground and meet all parties concerned. that is essential to know the positions and views of all parties. >> thank you, mr. secretary general. would you go for a cease-fire to allow humanitarian aid for the civilians in many parts of libya? have you had any contact with the provisional council in benghazi? thank you. >> my message has been consistent and clear that violence must adopt. -- stop.
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but the humanitarian workers and -- let the humanitarian workers do the work to help. my message has been consistent and clear, let the violence stop. the humanitarian workers must be able to do their work. >> have you contacted the provisional council? >> no, i have not. >> is this a legitimate representative for the libyan people? >> their recognition of this council or any government is a matter to be determined by the member states of the united nations. >> secretary general, there is a lot of talk by prominent u.s. senators and four other countries to by sending weapons to the rebels in libya. do you think that this would violate resolution 1970? in that case, what with the u.n. do?
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>> i understand that the international community including the u.n. security council, they are discussing a full range of options for the next steps. this is up to the member states of the security council to determine the future course of action. ok, thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> tonight on c-span, the u.s. house debates and in a home mortgage assistance program. congresswoman gabrielle giffords doctors give an update on her medical condition. rhode island gov. lincoln chafee discusses his state's budget.
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>> but tv is live with panels and discussions from the tucson festival book. panels on immigration, women in leadership, and a look back of the 1960's. also, the b.c. historians talk about the kenyan genealogies of barack obama. for complete discussion and schedule, go to our web site. >> today the house voted to end the federal program that helped unemployed homeowners make payments. it rescinds $1 billion previously allocated to the program. here is debate on the bill. it is one hour and 15 minutes.
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the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 836 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to rescind the unobligated funding for th mortgage relief program and to terminate the program. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as read the first time. the gentleman from texas, mr. hensarling, and the gentlewoman from california, ms. waters, each will control 30 minutes. . the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman may proceed. mr. hensarling: mr. chairman, the american people woke up several days ago to the very sad reality that this nation has just incred its single largest monthly deficit in the history of the nation.
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$226 billion with the back of the envelope calculation roughly $2,500 for every household in just one month mr. chairman, february is the shortest month of the year. thiss on top of our nation's first trillion dollar deficit, our nation's second trillion dollar deficit, and now according to the budget presented by the president of the united states, the third largest, the largest deficit in america's history and the third trillion dollar-plus deficit. mr. chairman, the nation is drowning in a sea of red inc. -- red ink. if we were to help job creators create jobs today, we've got to start taking away the
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uncertainty of this huge national debt. if we want to saveur children frombankruptcy tomorrow, we've got to start doing something about the national debt. but everybody says essentially not in my backyard. not with my programs. not today. let's do it some other day. let's kick the can down the road. mr. chairman, this is a nation that is borrowing 40 cents on the dollar, much of it from the chinese, and we are sending the bill to our children and grandchildren. this is a form of intergenerational theft. the democratic whip, the gentleman from maryland, when republicans were in control, and the deficit was a fraction, a fraction of what it is today, he
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turned -- termed it fiscal child abuse. mr. hoyer, the gentleman from maryland, said that when the annual deficit was $200 billio now, the monthly deficit is $200 billion. if we want to help create jobs today, if we want to spare our chdren bankruptcy, we got to quick spending money we don't have. so this week, mr. chairman, house republicans have brought a couple of bills to the floor to do something that is rarely ever done in this institution, and that is to save american families and save small businesses money. terminate a program. as we are coming off the 100th anniversary of ronald reagan's birthday, i'm reminded and
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perhaps i don't have the quote exact, but he said something along the lines, the closest thing to eternal life on earth is a federal program. so the bill we have before us today is a program that was originally authorized in 1975 and was never funded in its 35-year history. now, $1 billion has now been allocated for this program. nobody's used that money. it's in a series of so-called foreclosure mitigation programs that the administration has put forth, almost all of have i have beenbject failures even by their own yardstick, own measurement. number one, the best foreclosure mitigation program in america is a job. it's a paycheck.
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not government check. it's a paycheck. job creators are hampered by the uncertainty of the national debt. historic levels of debt will lead to historic levels of taxation, which leads to historic levels of unemployment. the equation could not be more true, could not be more elementary. but don't take my word for it. let's hear from some of the job creators in america. let's hear from the.e.o. of caterpillar which employ tens of thousands of people across our nation. quote, entitlement programs coupled with the coming wave of retiring baby boomers will push the deficit to untenable levels. it is a train wreck. mike jacks, c.e.o., auto nation. 19,000 employees, quote, the
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best thing that this town could do to help the economic recovery become sustainable is to deal with the deficit. the former chairman and c.e.o. of home depot. over 200,000 employees in the u.s., if we continue this kind of policy, we are dead in the water. businesspeople, they don't know what's coming. the debt, the budget, this debt we have is in the trillions. i'm going to have to pay for this somehow. you know, mr. chairman, these are just a few of the voices of job creators. so i'm heartened to see that the unemployment rate has ticked down last month. frankly it is attributable mostly to the fact we now have divided government. job creators now know there is some check on the excesses of of
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the bomb. it is a testament to the fact that at the end of the last congress, republicans were successful in blocking at least for two years the single largest tax increase in america's history, and i don't know any american who believes if you increase taxes on their company that that's going to lead to a raise, a bonus, employing more workers, and finally we have what warren buffett calls the regenerative naturof the free enterprise system. this is an economy that wants to recover. but since the great depression, we never had a longer recession or more tepid recovery and it's due to the policies of the president and the previous democratic congresses. so if we want to create, help create jobs today, we are going to have to show that we can put the nation on a fiscally sustainable path. this is a $1 billion program where not $1 has left the door yet. i'm sitting here thinking, mr.
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chairman, if this body, after having 75, 76 some-odd different government housing programs that add up to roughly 56 some-odd llion dollars, that frankly have grown at an exponential over the family budget, the family budget has to pay for the h.u.d. budget, if we can't terminate in order to save our children from bankruptcy, in order to help create jobs, one program at $1 billion, where not one penny haleft the door, how are we going to make the tough decisions that are necessary to save the country from bankruptcy? mr. chairman, at some point you got to quick spending money you don't have. at some point when do you ever say enough is enough? we are tired of borrowing money from the chinese. is this the future of our children? is it their destiny to shine the
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shoes of the chinese? is it our children's destiny one day they'll wait tables for the chinese? that's not the dream i have for my 7-year-old son. it's not the dream i have for my 9-year-old daughter. it's not the american dream. the american dream is to leave your children with greater freedoms, grter opportunity, and a higher standard of living. that's what i believe the american dream is. and if we can't terminate one program, which the obama administration itself says we are going to lose 98 cents on the dollar, i didn't say it, but the obama administration said it, losing 98 cents on the dollar. if we cat do this, mr. chairman, i have great fear and great trepidation for the future. so i urge, i urge my colleagues to take one small, teeny, tiny, baby step towards the path of
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fiscal sustainability. take one measured baby step and tell job creators in america we are going to put the nation's fiscal house in order. go ahead. it's safe to invest in america again. it's safe to create jobs. we are going to get this done. take one tiny step today. to help create those jobs and save our children from a thway to bankruptcy. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. frage, -- frank, is recognized for 30 minutes. mr. frank: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i hope members will be careful walking on the floor right now, especially on the republican side of the aisle, because i wouldn't want anyone to fall into the enormous gap that has just been created between the gentleman's comments and his voting record. we heard a great argument about the need to cut the budget deficit and stop spending.
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during the recent debate on the budget, an amendment was offered to limit entitlement spending to farmers to $250,000 per entity. the amendment said, no agricultural entity, no individual could get more than $250,000 per year. it was defeated by the republican majority. -- republican party. the majority of democrats voted for it. we had the brazilian cotton farmers, my friends on the other side hate for me to mention that because unpleasant reality is bothsome, over a four-year period we are going to spend more money subsidizing american and brazilian cotton farmers than we are on this program. now the gentleman from alabama said yesteay that it was obama that made him do it. rather implausibly he argued that he was compelled to fllow
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this recommendation of the obama administration to send $150 billion -- $150 million a year to brazilian cotton farmers for four years because the president told him to do it. well, that's a very selective invocation of the president. i must say no more persuasive than flip wilson having innoked the devil as having made him -- invoked the devil as having him made him do it. $150illion -- the argument by the way was that weave to send $150 million to the cotton farmers because otherwise we would be in trouble with the world trade organization. but we could have saved that $150 million to the brazilians by not sending $150 million to american cotton farmers. that would include american cotton farmers who get more than $250,000 a year. we are not debating about whether or not we should reduce the deficit. it is now. do you exempt agriculture, as many of my friends do because
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they represent agricultural districts? and the conservatism, the free market, that's got no application to the growth of cotton or grain or many of these other programs that receive so much money. beyond that, we have the military. now, we are talking here about trying to stop a serious economic problem in american cities. we can't afford that. but $400 million was voted to be spent on infrastructure in afghanistan. i do not think that $400 million will be very well spent. i understand some national security needs. i think that war's gone on too long. but the notion of sending $400 million to build up cities in afghanistan and deny help in america makes no sense. we are also being told that we can send $1 billion for iraqi security forces over and above what we spend on the american military, we are sending $1.2 billion, i voted against that. members on the other side voted for it. the whole war in iraq, an
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enormous waste in my judgment of american money at the cost of american lives, brave young americans went to war when they were asked to by their country, but it was a mistake for them to be sent there. the war inraq has so dwarfed any domestic expenditures in this area i don't understand how members on the one hand can talk seriously about cutting the deficit and voted for more and more and hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars for that war in iraq. now we have another point that should be made. it is true, this billion dollars that we are asking for, by the way it will st the c.b.o. $840 million, not 98%, 84%, still a high number, but $140 million is $140 million. this will cost $840 million according to c.b.o. if it is fully run. it is going to come out of the treasury right now. let's be clear, the reason it will come out of the treasury as we try to al with this -- here's what the program is, it
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says to americans who took out mortgages, and became unemployed , that we will help them pay their mortgage because you can't afford mortgage payments out of unemployment compensation. that's the lavishness of this program. we are taking people who are in trouble and facing losing their homes and having more forecloses, which have negative effects not just on the individual foreclosure but on the neighborhood, the city, the whole economy, ts has a macroeconomic pact. . we are going to come to their assistance. in the financial reform bill passed last summer, we in the conference committee voted to take this money from an assessment on the largest financial institution. we voted that financial institutions with $50 billion or more in assets and hedge funds with $10 billion or more in assets would have to pay for this.
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and our logic was it was the activity of these institutions that caused the crisis that led to the unemployment and led to the foreclosures. many of them pfited from it and then we had the tarp. this is money that we voted in the tarp and in other set of programs and we said, you benefited from intervention. we didn't do it because we loved you. we did it because we had to save the economy from going upside down. i know members like to talk about bailouts. let's be clear. every activity in the united states known as a bailout recently was in the initiative of the george bush administration of mr. paulson and mr. bernanke and it was bipartisanly supported. i agree we had to do them. we had to do them was because of failure in past regulatory policies. the fact is in the bill we passed last summer this money wouldn't have come from the treasury. it wouldn't have been added to the deficit. it -- the republican party
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popped it. not here but in the senate. i will make this announcement. i plan to reintroduce next week the prevention of the financial reform bill that would have taken the money for this program and other programs to alleviate the impact of foreclosure. the neighborhood stabilization program that helps gets foreclosed properties back into use, aid to homeowners who are unemployed and pay for it as we tried to do last year but republican opposition stopped us, not from the taxpayer but from the large institutions. and i don't mean to demonize but i think goldman sachs and wells fargo and bank of america and city corp and morgan stanley, i think they can pay for this -- citicorp and morgan stanley, i think they can pay for this. with regard to the bill we did
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yesterday -- you can eliminate so much error -- but i think error outpaces me when we get into these debates. we talked about money that was going to be spent in another program, the f.h.a. refi and people talked about $8 billion. yes, $8 billion -- it won't cost $8 billion but $8 billion that was set aside if necessary from the tarp and people say that tarp money was promised to go back to the taxpayers. this is how. members may have forgotten. but in the tarp legislation we added a provision that in 2013 when the tarp is concluded the president at that time is mandated to send to the congress a bill that would recoup the funds that had not been refunded to the treasury from those large financial institutions and we added that
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in the mortgage reform bill. so the tarp money that would be spent, if it is in refinancing, and the tarp money that would be spent on the ham program would not come out of the treasury. it would be reimbursed to the treasury if my colleagues go along with what we voted for from the large financial institutions. so let's be ve clear. whether we're talking about the programs in the financial refo bill or the programs in the tarp, they are a package of programs to deal withhe consequences of foreclosure. i must say i saw a draft of my republican colleagues' budget fuse and they said astonishingly that spending tarp money to deal with foreclosures was inappropriate because those were unrelated to the financial crisis. foreclosures unrelated to the financial crisis? that is an ill logic that i am surprised at. ideology drives you to certain ridiculous conclusions but that one goes further into that than
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i would have thought. so let's be very clear. our proposals are that the large financial institutions, assets of $50 billioor more, $hedge funds of $10 billion or more, most of which would direct beneficiaries in activity dealing with the financial crisis that many of them helped cause that that's how we would fund these programs. so with regard to the hamp, with regard to the f.h.a. refinance, no, that will not come out of the treasury. that will be reimbursed ultimately. yes, the tarp money goes back and the law calls for that to be assessed and so, yes, i understand my reblican colleagues, they don't want goldman sachs or citicorp or any of the large financial institutions or any of the large hedge funds to have to pay the costs. that's what what's the debate is. the large financial institutions.
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and, yeah, they d did succeed -- they diducceed, i hope. they did knock out part of the bill that would help us mitigate foreclosures and help us have cities buy up property that is rotting and causing trouble. and unfortunately temp rearl that's not the case, b -- temporarily that's mott the case, but given the concern for the taxpayer they'll have a choice. do you add the cost of these programs to the deficit because they are not going to become law, the repealers? are you then going to say that it will come out of the deficit or will you join us in taking it from goldman sachs and morgan stanley and bank of america? and those are reasonable institutions that do a lot of good work. but they can afrd these dollars. their bonuses alone will pay for these programs. first of all, we have people who are prepared to send money
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to brazilian cotton farmers. they will not limit entitlements to agriculture individuals to $250,000 a year. they'll send billions to afghanistan and iraq that will be wasted, not for our defense, but to build up their infrastructure and their security. and then, when it does come to the relatively small amount that we will spend on some of these programs, like $840 million, and it's small compared to what they spend, elsewhere, for instance, in their wars, they would rather have it come out of the taxpayer they would rather not spend it atll. th second choice is come out of the taxpayer and not -- not out of the large financial institutions. so let's frame the debate appropriately. the large financial institutions, because of inappropriate regulation and improper regulation during the bush years, early in the clinton years as well, but mostly the bush years, provoked a financial crisis. we began to deal with it in
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2008 in the last month of the bush administration and in a bipartisan way we did it. we provided some funding in the first instance of those financial institutions not out of love for them but because we thought ty needed to stabilize. money spent under the tarp would be recouped by an assessment by a large financial institution. republicans probably want to forget that one. probab because they can't bear the thought of telling the largeinancial institutions who were a large part of the cause of the financial crisis that they should have to pay. and we do know that when we said this program and programs to give money to municipalities, which they very much want to buy up operty that would otherwise fester because there would be nobody to make them take care of it, that they preferred that be paid for by the taxpayer than by the large financial institutions. we'll give them a chance to correct that mistake. so i hope this bill is defeated
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and next week we will have legislation that i hope our committee will be having hearings on and act on which will reinstate the provision that says all of the four programs we're dealing with this week and next week will be dealt with in one of two ways. it will be financed by the tarp and that money will be recovered when the program is over by an assessment on the large financial institutions, and the smaller amounts that will go to this program, that money will also be recouped from the large financial institutions. and those institutions, which received hundreds of billions. they have repaid it and has been useful. but they were great beneficiaries of it. they caused some of the problems in general. they will be the ones that will bear the costs. so that's the choice. we have a choice of doing nothing to alleviate the impact of foreclosures on the overall economy, on municipalities and on families or of doing something and recouping that
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money from the large financial institutions. i hope that we will in the end decide that we were right to say that the large financial institutions can appropriately ask to bear part of that burden. i reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: mr. chairman, at this time i yield two minutes to the distinguished majority leader, the gentleman from virginia. the chair: the majority leader, the gentleman from virginia,s recognized for two minutes. mr. cantor: i thank the speaker. i thank the gentleman. for the past several years, the conversation in washington is how much we can increase in spending. today the debate is centered on how much we can increase savings. on november 2 voters sent a message that they will not sit by as congress spends our way into national decline. it was a statement of rejection towards the buildup of debt and urdensome regulation that continues to crowd the prospects for the future.
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the new republican majority has responded with a cut and grow agenda designed to help with the results. growing private sector jobs in the economy is one of those. last month we voted to cut spending down to 2008 levels. today, through our youcut program, we offer american taxpayers the opportunity to recoup roughly $300 million in wasteful spending. the savings comes from terminating a program funded in the dodd-frank regulatory bill. this mandatory spending program allegedly provides loans to homeowners potentially facing foreclosure but is estimated that the subsidy rate, meaning the amount of the loan that will not be repaid, is 98 cents out of every dollar. so we are borrowing money we don't have to giveoans to certain homeowners thatan't
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repay and that other american families will have to pay back in higher taxes in the future. this program truly does not make sense and leaves everyone worse off. at a time, mr. speaker, we must do everything in our power to balance the federal budget. this legislation must pass and i urge my colleagues to vote in favor of it and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. frank: how much time has been used on both sides? the chair: the gentleman has 15 1/2 minutes left and the gentleman from texas has 18. mr. frank: then, i will yield four minutes to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. watt. the chair: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for four minutes. mr. watt: thank you, mr. chairman. and i thank our ranking member for yielding time. i am here today because this is
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a series of actis all of wish i oppose that's in sequence, and i thinke need to put this in perspective. yesterday my colleagues were proposing to terminate the f.h.a. refinance program that helps people refinance mortgages under f.h.a. next week we'll be back on the floor out of our committee with a proposal that they have made to do away with th community stabilizati program which is designed really to stalize communities and keep people who own propts and are trying to pay their mortgages -- properties and are trying to pay their mortgages from seeing their properties go down even
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further. and next week they'll be offering a proposal to do away with the mortgage refinance assistance program called hamp. of all of the four propes, -- proposals, including the one we are here debating today, this i think is the most mean-spirited and most duplicitous one, and i think the one that most vigorously deserves to be opposed by my colleagues here in the house. because this proposal is to do away with a program that assists people who were employed, got a mortgage, were paying their mortgage, then lost their jobs to the downturn in the economy and found
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themselves in a position where they could no longer afford to pay their mortgage. these are not people who are out getting second homes. the are working people who had jobs, fell on bad times and lost their jobs and getting unemployment benefits. and all we're saying is give them a break for 12 monthsnd give them the opportunity to go back into the marketplace and find a job and then they can resume paying their mortgages. . it isbsolutely mean-spirited to say to somebody who has complied with all the rules and lost their job by no fault of their own, and then find them selves unable to pay -- themselves unable to pay their
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mortgages that we won't try to give you some measure of relief. it's further complicated, made even more duplitous, really, by a provision that has been inserted into this bill that the secretary of housing and urban development to conduct a study and based on that study issue a report on the best practices that could be used to implement this program, a program which they are proposing to terminate. why would you he -- why would you spend taxpayer money to have a study on the best practices to implement a program that the bill itself says is going to be terminated? a waste of taxpayer money. yet my colleagues are here representing to the members of this house and to the american public that their whole objective is to save the
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taxpayers money. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. additional minute, without objection. mr. watt: i don't understand the rationale of my colleagues. it would be something ee if this bill was going to see the light of day in the senate. it's not going anywhere. this is a message bill, mr. chairman. that's all this is about. let's send a message to the american people that w can cut. we can cut. whether we are cutting money that's taxpayer money or cutting money that's going to be paid out of the top fund that the law requires the biggest financial institutions in america to make the taxpayers whole if at the end of the day there is a deficit in repaying this money,
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it doesn't matter, let's just stand up and beat on our chests and say to the american people, and think that they will believe that we are doing something to save them tax dollars. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama rise? mr. bachus: mr. chairman, i yield one minute -- two mutes to the gentleman from new rk the chair: gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes. mr. grimm: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of the emerging homeowner relief program termination act, and i'm sitting here and hear that we are mean-spirited. it makes me think of the last year that i had with my father before he passed away.
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i spent a lot of time with my dad because i was taking him to the hospital. he had lung cancer. we had to sitand wait often more than an hour to see the doctor to get his test, to get his chemo. i asked my father knowing that his life was nearing an end, what was the toughest thing he ever had to do. my father told me the toughest thing he had to do was tell his children no. sometimes when your child -- you ask the things, whether it be new hockey skates or baseball myth or whatever -- baseball mitt or whatever it may be, and a good parent sometimes says they can't afford it. well, i don't think it's mean-spirited to step up and answer the message, not that we are sending, but the message that the american people sent us. that we cannot continue reckless spending. and this program to put it right back on point, this program is the postage child -- poster
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child of waste and reckless spending. it's not anyone in this chamber that said it's going to be subsidized 98 cents on the dollar. we will lose 98 cents on the dollar. the administration said that. 98 cents on the dollar. we cannot continue to spend on programs that are failing. that is the definition of waste. and we were sent here to cut the spending to stop the waste for one reason. so that we can grow the economy. and when we grow that economy, we actually create jobs. the whole point if i understand the argument on the democratic side is that these people have lost their jobs. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. grimm: 30 seconds. mr. bachus: 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. grimm: for that reason the answer is not more failed
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programs. it's growing the economy and creating a job. we need to give them hope not false hope. with that i yield back the balance of my time. thank you. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from alabama reserves. mr. bachus: mr. chairman, could i inquire as to the time remaining on each side? the chair: you have 15 1/2 minutes. and the gentleman from massachusetts has 10 1/2 minutes. mr. frank: i would prefer to reserve. e chair: the gentleman from alabama. . bachus: thank you. at this time i yield one minute to the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. mcclintock: i thank the gentleman for yielding. two years ago the president told us that we will all -- were all to blame for the housing bubble and the nancial crisis that followed. well, no we're not. those families who passed up the
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get rich quick real estate seminars and who turned down the loans they couldn't afford, or who settled for a smaller home or who rted because that's all they could afford, they are not to blame. and they shouldn't be left holding the bag. 91% of americans are making their mortgage payments, not only because it's the right thing to do, but because they know that the sooner the market corrects itself, the sooner their homes will begin to appreciate once again. by dropping up bad loans and by undermining responsible homeowners, our government's extending the agony and postponing the day when the markets stablizes and home buyers can safely re-enter the housing market. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. who seeks recognition? mr. bachus: i -- mr. frank: there's still disparate. mr. bachus: at this time, mr. chairman, i recognize the gentlelady from west virginia,
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mrs. capito, for one minute. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. capito: thank you. i have been listening to the discussion. i certainly over the last several years have been in the committee where we have seen program after program being introduced to try to alleviate the problem that we know exists with the foreclosure issue. this is about making choices today. th is about making choices about programs that are working. programs that are not working. programs that are costing too much. and programs that we need to reshape and reform. i believe this program is one that we can in good measure eliminate. it hasn't really gotten started. it's $1 billion program. in some sense we already know and we have heard from many in the discussion that 98 cents out of every dollar that's set forth as a loan in this program will actually be a forgiven loan. we are talking about fairness and mean-spiritedness. if it's fair to the rest of the
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folks who are working, scraping, paying their mortgages every single day, to know that 98 cents of every dollar that goes out the door in helping some other folks is never going to come back in when the original a agreement is a loan, this is a good sense cuthat will lead to more jobs and better sense government. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. frank: i yield myself 15 seconds. i'm not surprised because there are people on the other side who think it's unfair to pay anything, like unemployment compensation. i don't think it's unfair to say to people unemployed in this economy they'll get economic help. that's what this is about. i yield 3:45 to the gentleman from new york. the chair: t gentlelady from new york is recognized for two minutes and 45 seconds. mrs. maloney: i rise in opposition to h.r. 836, this is one of four anti-foreclosure programs that the majority is voting to terminate.
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and this particular program they want to terminate today is designed to assist homeowners who have experienced a significant reduction in incme or at risk of foreclosure due to loss of a job, involuntary unemployment, underemployment, or medical condition. and this is a group that needs our help. there are $1.2 million households with a mortgage where head of household or spouse is unemployed. and in my home state of new york, mr. grimm, i wish i had the opportunity to ask him, was he aware that 142,000 households in our home state have a rtgage with a person who is the head of the household or spouse is unemployed. this program particularly could have helped those people. and the majority leader who spoke earlier, his home state, the great state of virginia,
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there are over 59,000 households who have a mortgage and with someone in the family who is underemployed or unemployed. and in the great state texas, the largest number of households with the mortgage and head of spouse or head of household who is unemployed, there are over 172,000 families in this terrible situation. families across the country would benefit from the program. but instead they are cutting it and i'd like to ask unanimous consent to place in the record the census data that gives these mbers across our great country the number of people in this situation who could be helped by this program. the chair: the gentlelady's request has already been covered. mrs. maloney: the program fulfills an important gap because it addresses a temporary loss of income and helps homeowners when they are most vulnerable. it has been successful in pennsylvania which has its own state-run program.
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over 45,000 homeowners have been assisted with an average loan of $11,000, and 85% of these recipients have been able to stay in their homes as a result. if we continue this program, we would be able to help families across the country. so i oppose terminating the program. and i oppose tossing hardworking americans out in the street. and i oppose this mean-spirited effort to terminate help for unemployed americans. now, to put this in perspective, this program is one of four that the majority is putting forward to terminate programs that would help the people stay in their homes. yesterday they terminated the f.h.a. refinance program. next week they are going to attempt to terminate hamp a the neighborhood stabilization
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program. yet economist after economist tell us that in order to strengthen our economy we have to stabilize the housing market. so these cuts are wrong. they are wrong in the first place and they are certainly wrong at this time when we are working to dig our way outf this whole and to get people back to work. this program is like the others is narrowly tailod to help a specific class of homeowners because of this economy and because of the high level of unemployment. during the financial crisis we lost seven million jobs in this country. and we are slowly gaining jobs again, but we are not even at the point -- the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. mrs. maloney: my time is expired and i urge a no vote on this bill. the chair: the gentleman from alabama. mr. bachus: i have no further speakers, mr. chair, on my side. so i would like -- other than
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myself. i would ke to reserve my remaining time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. frank: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. green. the chair: mr. green, the gentleman from tas is recognized f three minutes. mr. green: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, there's a more basic and fundamental question that we are confronting today. that question is, can we continue to go out of our way to help major corporations? as a matter of fact $700 billion, can we go out of our way to help them and ke sure that the programs work for them and then turn our backs on the taxpayers that helped those very same major corporations? that's the basic question that we have to contend with. are the banks and the major corporations too big to fail and
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are the tax-paying americans who helped bail them out too small to help? can we continue to end programs that help people stay in their homes that did not create the exotic products, that did not create prepayment penalties that coincide with teaser rates, that did not create loans wherein you qualified for your teaser rate but you don't qualify for your adjusted rate, can we continue to allow them to be evicted when we can help some of them? we may not be able to help everybody, but when you can help somebody, you ought to try to do the best that you can and help those that you can. . with reference to the f.h.a. refi that passed in this house, that bill did not lose money unless persons failed to pay their mortgages. it was only if mortgages were
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not repaid that f.h.a. came forward and covered the cost. so to say that it cost $8 billion is incorrect. it cost whatever at the end of the program may have been spent but that money has not been spent so the money was there. there was also a premium to be paid by persons who got the reify -- refis. it helped neighborhoods maintain property values. we can help people with emergency mortgage assistance. people who have lost their job through no fault of their own beuse of the downturn in the economy. it's a very simple premise. will we allow ourseves to save major corporations and deny the people, the taxpaying americans
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some help during their time of need? if there is one thing i heard from the american people was, where is my bailout? well, when we come up to the plate and actually help people who need and merit the help, somebody comes forward and finds a reason why we can't help them. this is the day to help those american people. let's not let them be too small to help while others will allow banks to be too big to fail. i yield back the balan of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from alabama. mr. bachus: mr. chair, at this time i yield 3 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. hensarling. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for 3 1/2 minutes. mr. hensarling: thank you, madam chair. again, we cannot lose sight of the fact that our nation is drowning in a sea of red ink. it is a sea of red ink that continues to hamper job creation. job creators today are
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uncertain of our future. they know, though, they know that historic levels of debt lead to historic levels of taxation which can only lead to historic levels of unemployment. they are looking for some signal from this body that we get it, that we get it, that we're going to stop borrowin 40 cents on the dollar, muchf it from the chinese, and sending the bill to our children and our grandchildren. again, when the annual deficit, the annual deficit was $200 billion in dropping as opposed to the monthly deficit which is now over $200billion, but wh the annual deficit was $200 billion, the gentleman from maryland, the democratic whip said that was fiscal child abuse. now, my friends on the other
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side of the aisle are introducing the term mean-spirited. i n't know. is fiscal child abuse mean mean-spirited? it's their term, madam chair. i'll let them reflect on that. now, i hear the ranking membe talk about fiscal responsibility, and he points to one item, cotton. we heard cotton throughout this debate. but i would note that the chairman, the ranking member apparently voted for the conference report on the farm bill which includes cotton subsidies that he comes to this floor to decry. he speaks about a w.t.o. decision, but it's the obama administration that says that countervailing measures would have cost this country more than $800 billion. mr. frank: will the gentleman yield? mr. hensarling: i would recommend at the ranking member have the debate with the obama administration. mr. frank: will the gentleman yield?
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mr. hensarling: because that's where we got this information. i will yield to the ranking member. mr. frank: there were two ways we cld do it. i disagree with the president. we could have avoided that by reducing american cotton subsidies to the same amount as they do in brazil. so we could have either saved $300 billion or not. mr. hensarling: reclaiming my time. reclaiming my time. i would just point out to the ranking member that was n the vote before us, and if there was a chance to get out the cotton subsidies -- and i must mit that both sides of the aisle voted for them -- but the opportunity was at the point on the conference report of the farm bill which the gentleman from massachusetts voted for. but to put this again in a larger context, we on this side of the aisle federal reservently believe that you will not have -- fervently believe that you will not help anything unless you put this country on a fiscal path. if we can't do it on this
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program what program can we do it on? i think it's ironic. how many of my friends on the other side of the aisle will come to the floor and say, you know what, there are people in this nation trying to force loans onto people who are unemployed, people can't afford to pay it back, it's predatory lending, and now they want the government to do the same thing. mr. bhus: chair, i yield 30 additional seconds to the gentleman from texas. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hensarling: we heard throughout the debate there needs to be a consistency, a consistency of debate. let me get this right, a payday lender is guilty of predatory lending if they lend money to somebody who is underwater, somebody who may be struggling, but if the federal government does it it's something else. it's noble. don't see the consistency in the debate there, madam chair. but, again, most importantly when does the day arrive that
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we quit spending money we do not have? i say today is that day. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. frank: how much time is remaining, madam chair? the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts has 3 1/2 minutes, and the gentleman from alabama has 9 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. frank: do we have general leave? the chair: yes. mr. frank: thank you. i yield myself the remaining 3 1/2 minutes. first, the last comment was contradictory to the gentleman from texas. if it's forgiveness, then it's a predatory loan. the fact that it has very generous loans, it's scored at 84%, not 98%. the gentleman is self-contradictory because it cannt be both. secondly, as to agriculture, i did vote for a -- an amendment that would have changed it but the gentleman -- spectacle of
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my republican colleagues hiding behind obama is bizarre. you could have done what we offered which was to cut the $150 billion from going to brazil and then cut it out of america. but it's not the only item i mentioned. i mentioned $1.2 billion the gentleman wanted to send to the iraqi forces. the $250,000 limit the republicans rejected on individual entities. so, no, there are billions in agriculture and the military. iidn't just mention one item. the gentleman does understand they're vulnerable so they blame obama. they are both wrong sending money to brazil. i hope in his final time the gentleman from alabama will address it. in the first place, on two of these programs, the hamp program, which we will deal ith next week on the floor, and the f.h.a. refi, the money doesn't come from the treasury. they keep saying it but they
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are wrong. and ignoring a fact doesn't make it go away. those are funds that come from tarp. in the financial reform bill we reinforced an earlier provision, and i will subject it to the record. i'll put it in the record. it says the fdic is authorized to conduct risk-based assessments on financial companies to pay for this, the money that's left in the tarp. we have a mandate to the fdic so that when the tarp is finished, large financial companies will have to pay this, not the treasury. i know that troubles people on the other side. they are solicitous of these large financial companies, but when they talk about adding to the deficit they're wrong. it's statutorily required that this will come over their objection from the large financial institutions, and as to the other two programs, including the one today, we had similar language in our bill to do that. it was rejected by the republicans because we needed to get 60 votes in the senate. so, yes, for now, that $840
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million will come out of the taxpayer. if we had our way and the republicans had n been successl in frustrating us, it would also come from goldman sachs and from morgan stanley and the other large institutions, and i will give them another chance. so the fact is the bulk of this money does not come from the treasury. it is mandated that it will be repaid back to the tarp, ani hope the gentleman from alabama will address that in his final remarks. is he for repealing that? does he believe we should not, as we have said we would twice legislativively assess the large -- legislatively assess the large financial institutions and take it off? because if he doesn't it may reduce the bonuses at some of the large financial firms, it may reduce the dividends at some of the large financial firms but that does not reduce the deficit. as to the other money, the stabilization program and for this program, if they will come back with us and join that also
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will come from the large financial institutions. so let's drop the phony argument about the deficit. if you want to protect the large financial institutions be honest about saying so. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from alabama. mr. bachus: madam chair, i claim the remaining time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bachus: the american people have sent us here to tell the truth, and the truth is there are too many government programs that do not work and actually make things worse. and these government programs are paid for by the american people. you can say that it's not from the treasury or that it's from the treasury, it's from tarp, it's not from tarp, but the fact remains that it's from the american taxpayer. in fact, the tarp fund, which
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the gentleman at one time said it comes out of the treasury. then he said it comes from tarp , but the promise in 2008 was it would go back to the american people, it would go back in the national treasury, and in ft it does not and i'll address where igo and i think the american people would be when they find out where igoes under this program they are going to be even more upset. and i don't think they'll be surprised because i think they've come to realize that there's not a lot of will in washington to protect them, the taxpayers. but the american people already know that ere are too many effective government programs that cost too much. and this is a poster child for those programs. if you can't cut this program i'm not sure you can cut any. and when we find such programs
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we as the representativ of the people have a duty and a responsibility to the taxpayers to end these programs. and that's what we're doing this morning. we are going to end this program. that's what we're here for. we are in this legislation by mr. hensarling we stop a $1 billion failed spending program. that's a well-intentioned program. but just as the road to hell is paved with good intentions so is the road to higher deficits and a record-breaking debt, a debt that our children and our grandchildren will have to pay. you know, when we talk about the taxpayers ultimately fund this program, when we borw 42 cents out of every dollar it's our children and our andchildren that will have to pay for these programs. we're charging something and
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we're telling them to pay the bill. today we have an unthinkable debt of $14 trillion. $14 trillion. a debt that imposes a birth tax on every child born in america. it's $45,000 today. just last year it was $35,000. it's grown by $10,000. even worse this debt or birth tax is growing every day because our government is spending some days $5 bilon, some days $8 billion more than it takes in. and adding to what our children and grandchildren will have to pay. one question that the american people often confront is, are they better off their parents and will their children be
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better off than they will and their grandchildren? it's interesting that -- in survey after survey, poll after poll, the american people say we're better off -- we were betterff than our parents. our parents fought for our freedom, they preserved it in numerous wars, they saved their money, they watched their money, they worked hard and they left us in good shape. but when that same question is a little different question, do you think your children or grandchildren will be better off, the american people, they know, they instinctively know. no is the answer sadly, and that's because of our national debt and deficit. in fact, both our secretary -- both our joint chiefs of staff and robert gates has said that it's a national security
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problem. our debt threatens our very existence as a country. . ? washington spending binge is driving our country right off a cliff. we have seen the effect of overspending on our economy today. the government absorbs so much money from our citizens that it's hard to create private jobs. each dollar out of the economy is a job that the private sector can't create. now, actually governor -- president reagan and president clinton th realize this and they grew the economy. and those were the only two years with a growing economy. and government spending either level or going down. that's the only time in our country we had aurplus. they both realized that it was the private sector that would see us out of this. so this growth, growth in the
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federal government and spending is hampering job creation. d that's what these homeowners need. they need a job. let's look at this program. and this is from the obama administration, this is their budget that was just filed. here's what the american people need to know. what does this program do? it offers a loan of $50,000, up to $50,000 to pay all arrearages to homeowners on their first mortgage. $50,000. and then to pay up to 24 consecutive months of mortgage payments. 24 months of their mortgage payments. now, both the gentleman from texas and the gentleman from massachusetts kept talking about the large financial institutions . that's who is owed the money. and in fact we areot getting
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this money from the large financial institutions, just the contrary, we are paying them. cause they are the ones that hold this mortgage. so wn the taxpayers write a $50,000 check under this program to pay a rearages on the mortgage, who do you think it goes to? it goes to bank of america, it goes to morgan chase, it goes to citigroup. and it's shocking tt the gentleman from massachusetts would actually say that this money is coming from the very institutions that are going to receive this money. this bilon dollars is not going to homeowners. it's going to these large finance igs tuesday the -- institutions. he says they are the one that is ought to be paying this not the homeowners or not the taxpayers. we always thought the homeowners were supposed to pay their mortgages, but i think we could all agree, i think we could all
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agree that it's not the taxpayer. it's just an astounding thing. and he says that flip wilson,f flip wilson told us to vote for something, we would. it wasn't flip wilson. it was ron kirk. and would did he tell us? listen, if i were chairman frank, i would talk about anything but this failed program. i mean i think that's why they have talked about everything but this failed program. mr. frank: would the gentleman yield? mr. bachus: because it was ron kirk that told us that our automobile sector would suffer, our pharmaceutical sector would suffer. he said that this would cost jobs and medical equipment, electronics, textiles, wheat, fruit, nuts, cotton. he did include cotton. he said $60 billion worth of
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exports were at risk. do the math. 7,000 jobs for each billion dollars worth of exports, that's 420,000 jobs. do you want to vote against something that would put 420,000 americans out of jobs? and then they would all line up for another government program. that the minority would design. the other thing, this is the last thing i'll say, they keep saying that taxpayers will get paid back. well, let me introduce this. this is from the obama administration, this is their same budget for the physical -- fiscal year 2012. it estimates the losseon this program, they have accused us of making up these figures, 97.72, that's the loss on this program.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland rise? >> i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for five minutes. mr. cummings: thank you very much, madam chair. as i stand here and sat here and listened to all of this, there are some things that are missing from this discussion which i think that we are forgetting. and that sometimes i think do we forget that this is america? this is a country that has gained its power through its moral authority, not necessarily by its military might. and we have heard discussions this morning about kicking the can down the road, putting money into a rat hole. and the more i think about it,
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madam chair, i think it is a very sad day when somebody from a state with high foreclosures can get up and talk about destroying a program that will help his own neighbors. there's something wrong with that picture. president barack obama uses a term i wish i had invented. he says that we have an empathy deficit in our country. i wonder what it's going to feel like on sunday when my colleagues go to church, read from the same bible that i read from, and can brag about the fact that they was able to kill a program that would allow some 30,000 people to stay in their
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own homes. while at the same time when i go to church i'll have to explain to them why they did it. we are better than that. we are better as a nation, we are better. and it's easy for people to go home. you'll go home tonight, you'll fly home, you have a nice warm house, but let me tell you about the other america. the america that has come to find foreclosure to an event i held in my district 40 miles away from here. they come in with papers in hand because they simply want some relief. they have lost their jobs. through no fault of their own. they come in with tears running down their faces, they are
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black, they are white, they are hispanic, they are asian, they are americans. so you say to them, the dollars that you pay, i don't want to use them to help you stay in your house, in their houses, they are the same americans that i used to see get on the early bus, the early bus, and then go to work. but now they have no jobs. in part because of the same kinds of efforts we see over and over again about getting the regulations. the regulations that were not adhered to, the ones not in place, are the very ones that got us where we are, and that's why many of them don't have jobs and losing their homes. we are better than that. that's why i was one of the authors of this provision. i'm tired of seeing my fellow
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citizens come in, your neighbors and my neighbors, people that look like your mother and my mother. people that look like your son and my son. tears running down their faces, simply wanting a break. they are not looking for a hand out, they are looking for a bridge. and so it is when you go to church on sunday, when they ask you what did do you this weekend, what did you achieve? you can say to them, stick your chest out, and say, yeah, i stopped some 30,000 people from staying in their homes, americans. then there's another argument that bothers me, madam chair, they act like we cannot create jobs and keep people in their homes statement. .
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we can do better than that. so i hope when you go back and you talk to your neighbors and you say -- save a $1 billion program, $1 billion, we were trying to get more but even in the conference committee the republicans cut that down and now they're back at it again. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for five minutes. mr. hensarling: madam chair, we can do better than trillions of dollars of debt that is borrowed from the chinese and the bills are sent to our children and grandchildren. when the annual deficit was $200 billion and falling, another gentleman from maryland, the
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distinguished democratic whip, said it was fiscal child abuse. now we have a monthly deficit, a monthly deficit equaling that annual deficit so i'll listen carefully to this gentleman from maryland and when i go to church on sunday i'm going to be very glad in my heart, in my head, that i did not commit an act of fiscal child abuse on my children or anybody else's children or grandchildren. we have got to stop spending money we don't have. the house will be in order. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland rise? mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak o of order for one minute for purposes of inqueering from the majority leader the schedule the week to come. the speaker pro tempore: without
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objeion, so ordered. mr. hoyer: i thank the speaker and i yield to my friend, the majority leader, mr. cantor. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman from maryland, the democratic whip, for yielding. mr. speaker, on monday the house will meet at noon for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. on tuesday and wednesday the house will neat at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and noon for gislative business. on ursday the house will meet at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business. the house will consider at least two bills under suspension of the rules on monday which will be announced by the close of business today. on tuesday we expect to consider a short-term continuing resolution to fund the government for another three weeks. on wednesday the house will consider one or possibly two more bills from the financial services committee addressing mandatory spending. h.r. 839, the home affordable modification program termination act, and h.r. 861, the nehborhood stabilization program termination act -- mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct.
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the house will please be in order. the gentleman may continue. mr. cantor: finally, mr. speaker, on thursday the house will consider concurrent resolution relating to the war powers resolution and i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that information and he mentioned the c.r., the continuing resolution, the continuing authorization to operate government which i understand will be for a three-week period. can the gentleman tell us what will be in that continuing resolution at this point in time? i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: right. as the gentleman knows, our majority is committed to the process of providing a three-day notice for all members as well as their constituents to see what we'll be voting on. the appropriations committee is busy preparing the text of that
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and will be presented online this afternoon and the details will be in that online version this afternoon. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments. now, it's my understanding we are not scheduled, according to his announcement, to meet next friday, is that accurate? mr. cantor: yes, i would say to the gentleman that is correct. mr. hoyer: and i take it the gentleman is reasonably certain? obviously we don't know when what the other body will do, but in light of the fact that that c.r. will be offered next tuesday, the gentleman's pre summings is that in fact we will be out sometimes on thursday. mr. cantor: we certainly look forward to the senate acting expeditiously and acting quickly on the house's three-week extension, assuming that goes well, the gentleman is correct in assuming that we will not be in session next friday.
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i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. i thank -- the gentleman and i have had this discussion and i think we both agree that continuing to fund government on either a two-week or a three-week cycle is not what we ought to be doing. furthermore, mr. speaker, the number of economists have indicated that if in fact we proceed to funding levels that reflect h.r. 1, which is my assumption of what will happen according to what the gentleman has told me, and i think said publicly, the funding levels that are included in h.r. 1 on a week to week basis, which leads me to believe that if we're having a three-week extension we'll be somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 billion in additional reductions. would that be accurate? i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i agree that he and i have discussed, we intend for the three-week extensioto maintain the current formula
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upon which we are operating today and that is a reduction of spending of $2 billion per week and i expect the appropriations committee again to introduce a three-week short-term extension cutting $2 billion per week later this afternoon, consistent with the house position as spelled out in h.r. 1. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments and i would observe to him that with respect to h.r. 1 numerous economists have indicated, including mark zandi, who is of course one of the principal advisors to john mccain when he ran for president , chairman bernanke, chairman of the federal reserve, goldman sachs, moody's and others that the just rejected h.r. 1, if adopted, would lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs . in one analysis' point of view,
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over 800,000 jobs. in fact, of course three republicans voted ainst h.r. in the senate and one of those who voted for h.r. 1 in the senate said this, mr. speaker, let me be clear that i strongly oppose some of the proposed cuts in the house-passed bill. that was h.r. 1. particularly the drastic cuts that would disproportionately affect low-income families and seniors. making such deep and immediate cuts to critical low-income heating assistance, weatherization and head start programs in the middle of the fiscal year would cause seriou problems for those who rely on these programs. that was senator clins, a republican ofaine -- collins, a republican of maine, when the bill was on the floor. let me ask the gentleman, do we have a plan to proceed so that
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we can, a, retreat from the uncertainty that we keep creating by these two weeks? i know he and i agree this is not the way to proceed. but does the gentleman have a plan, a, to move forward so we can fund government through september 30, complete funding for this fiscal year and turn our attention and focus on what i know the gentleman knows the appropriation committee is now focusing on, the fiscal year 2012 appropriatio, and spending plan? does the gentleman have in mind when we might get to a plan to fund the balance of government not on two or three-week cycles but betweenow and september 30 and i yield to my friend? mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman. fit of all, i want to speak to the first part of the gentleman's discussion regarding mr. zandi and other individuals he spoke to regarding the
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predictions of doom because of our position on h.r. 1. and i would say to the gentleman, as he knows, there are as many economists, certainly several hundred, who signed the letter indicating that the cuts were not something that would produce the results that mr. zandi and others have predicted. and in fact it's mr. zandi's math that was applicable to the stimulus bill that i think most americans do know now failed in the proses made that we would see unemployment not rise above 8%. and again the gentleman and i have had a discussion before that if the answer was just spend more government, intoxicate pair dollars to create jobs, why don't we go spend it all and everybody will be employed again? we know that's not true and that doesn't work. and so we also know that chairman bernanke did not agree with the predictions of the kind of cuts that mr. zdi and
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others have predicted according to his testimony and certainly we believe very strongly that if you cut government spending we create environment for private sector jobs. to the gentleman's direct question about when we can proceed a longer term solution we don't have to continue operating in stop-gap ways, i would say to the gentleman, as he knows, it's not just the house, it's trying to work with the senate as well as the white house. the senate did act this week and we now know that the senate rejects our $60 billion -- approximately $60 billio cut off of 2010 levels and it also rejected the proposed10 billion worth of cuts by leader reid. in fact, there were more votes in favor of the $60 billion h.r. 1 level than there were off the
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$10 billion level off of current spending. the problem is the white house is not -- has not indicated where it wants to go and as we both have discussed before, as i have told the gentleman, i just don't see where the leadership is on the part of the white house. it is obviously up to the white house to come to the table as well as the president's got to sign the bill. we agree it is much better for us to be operating with some certainty and not have to be operating off a stop-gap measures every several weeks but we don't want to shut the government down. we want to cut spending and if this is how we're able to do it we're going to deliver on that promise to cut spending but i do share with the gentleman the frustration that we don't see any type of coalescence around a notion that we should have some type of longer term agreement on this fiscal year and i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his response, mr. speaker.
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again, i understand the gentman's issue with respect to the president. both the gentleman and i understand and agree that the constitution in article 1 gives to the house of representatives and the united states senate the responsibility to raise and spend moneys. so this is the primary responsibility of the legislative part of the government which he and i have the privilege of serving in. so while i understand the gentleman's accurate, both alternatives were defeated in the united states senate. the president put an offer on the table in his 2011 budget. we then in december froze spending at 2010 levels which was $41 billion less than the president's offer which he put on the table. we have now had a -- two additional offers put on the table.
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the next offer was, of course, included in h.r. 1. that passed this house but did not pass the senate. the senate,owever, did put an offer on the table, as the gentleman pointed out, cutting an additional $10 billion above the $41 billion or $6 billion above the $4 billion, which was included in the short-term c.r. which expires. does the gentleman now propose and will the gentleman and his side of the aisle be proposing a counteroffer, as i said last week, or is the gentleman's position, as i seem to hear you say, athe $100 billion figure that was included in h.r. 1 which implies that unless there is an agreement to your figure that we will have to shut down government or agree to your figure? i want to make sure that i understand your thoughts on that, and i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i say to the
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gentleman, again, it's the house that's taken position that we want to see cuts $60 billion off current 2010 levels. the senate said it wanted to cut $10 billion off of 2010 levels. ere a $50 billion difference here. what we believe is we need to do everything we can to figure out how to do with less in washington. the american people sent us to washington to spend the money the way they would. certainly our confence believes, you cut government strength, you make private sector jobs. we are waiting to see what position the white house will take so that we can move forward and begin the job that we're supposed to be about right now which is the next fiscal year. as the gentleman knows, we are here because unfortunately last congress did not pass a budget,
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did not pass appropriations bills. we're trying to clean up that mess, so we're waiting to see what the white house's position is so we can begin to see how we can maximize deficiencies in federal government so we can see more private sector jobs. i yield back. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman for his answer. i don't think i received an answer in terms o whether or not the gentleman is saying it's either $100 billion or nothing and there will be no counteroffer to the offer that's on the table either from the president or more accurately at this point in time in terms o the timing from the senate which got us to $51 billion in cuts which although the gentleman would like to say it's between $0 and $60 billion. the gentleman said in his pledge to america it would be
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$100 billion. he counted the $41 billion from the president's initial offer of 2011 spending. what has happened since the gentleman and his party made that offer, mr. speaker, is in fact $41 billion of that $100 billion was accepted in the c.r. that was passed which expired two weeks ago. since that time we put from the senate's perspective an additional $10 billion on the table to get us to $51 billion. the way i calculated, that is more than halfway to $100 billion. he got the $41 billion we already cut in the original c.r. the additional $51 billion. we have come more than halfway, a little more than halfway. we are now asking the gentleman, is he going to have a counteroffer for us that we can consider from our offer of
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$51 billion which we believe is more than halfway? i will tell you further, mr. leader, that it is my staff's belief -- and i could be corrected on this -- that the offer that's on the table represents the single largest cut from one year to the next since i have been in the congress to the united states which is largely under republican presidents. o i would ask my friend, we obviously are prepared to agree and have agreed on very substantial restraints in spending, cutting spending, trying to get a handle on this deficit. as you know, i'm concerned about the fact that in the rule we adopted on the first day of the session that you provided for $4.7 trillion in adtional tax expenditures, if you will,
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tax cuts, cutting of revenue that is projected currently by c.b.o. which will lead to $4.7 trillion of additional strength while you have proposed -- spending while you have proposed $3.7 trillion increased deficit that is in fact planned for under your rule. all i'm asking for now is, do you have and will you have a counteroffer to our $51 billion offer so that we can then try to move on and reach compromise? if it is simply no, we want $100 billion or nothing, then we have to make a decision, as i told the gentleman, on our side of the aisle what do we do at that point in time? we obviously have the majority in the senate. the president of the united states. the american people have elected and as newt gingrich, your former speaker, our former
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speaker said in 1998, you know, we have to reach agreement. the way you reach agreement is to get offers back and forth, and we think we have an offer on the table and we'd like to hear your counteroffer. i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: further, i tell the gentleman, first of all, the problem is that the $10 billion proposal off of current spending that that is the largest cut that has ever been proposed since the gentleman has been in congress. that's the problem. that's the problem. mr. hoyer: will the gentleman yield? mr. cantor: no. mr. hoyer: i want to clarify. reclaiming my time now. i did not say it's the largest cut ever proosed in congress. i said it's the largest cut from one year to the other, from previous year's spending, and it is $13.6 billion, i believe. $17 billion. my staffer, who's brilliant,
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much more brilliant than i am, reminds me -- mr. cantor: i am told the gentleman has a lot of those. mr. hoyer: both of us do. mr. cantor: yeah. mr. hoyer: i want to clarify so the public understands as well when they hear us is that what we are talking about cutting from is 14% of the budget. the discretionary, nondefense, not security part of the budget. so let me focus on that. and when i speak of the cut and you say it's $17.-- $17 billion in nonsecurity. from year to year since i have been here in 1981 is the largest single cut in nondefense, nonsecurity discretionary spending from one year to the other. yes it is, and that is in a very small 14% slice of the budget. frankly, the discussions we've had to date ignore the other 81%, 82%, 83% of the budget.
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obviously interest rates are not subject to bein reduced. we need to pay our debt. so i want to clarify, a, that we're speaking to the discretionary part of the budget, nondefense, nondiscretionary, and yes it is in fact what's sitting on the table the largest cut we've had in nondefense, nonsecurity spending we've had in years. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i say that's exactly the problem still. as the gentleman alludes, we have over $1.5 trlion deficit alone. i understand the gentleman's point there being a sller piece of the budget from which these cuts are being taken. but the bottom line is that's the problem. we've got to work harder to cut more so the private sector jobs can be created. now, i'd say to the gentleman two things. one, i look forward to his support, then, of the budget that we bring forward because
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we remember, as the gentleman knows, going to be dealing with how to reform the entitlement programs which are the significant driver of deficits into the future as he knows. so i do look forward to that. we wl be dealing with that withia month'time. i look forward to that debate. but i'd lastly say, mr. speaker, does the gentleman know what kind of cuts the senate can support at the 60-vote level? because i don't. i don't see a counteroffer there. don't see the position where the senate or your side of the aisle -- or the gentleman's side of the aisle has tan. i don't see the president having come down at a level that is acceptable at all because he hasn't come down to a level. so this is the problem, mr. speaker. we have made our position known. the house wants to cut $60-some off 2010 levels or the 2011
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levels. we don't wa the status quo. we want to continue to cut spending. we can't come to any agreement when the other side doesn't come forward with any offer, and that'why we've been forced into this situation where we are once again proposing a stopgap measure so we can see the government erate so it dsn't shut down in the name of trying to do more with less. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank my frie for yielding. let me make a point here, mr. speaker. as i understand it, the gentleman continues to take the position until we get to $100 billion there is no credible counteroffer. $2 billion a week. let me say that the gentleman serves with a very con-- served with a very conservative member, also a great member of this congress, joe scarborough. let me give a quote from joe scarborough. there are elements of the g.o.p. spending plan that causes me great concern. the belief of some on the right thatmerica can balance the budget by cutting education,
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infrastructure, the corporation for public broadcasting and home heating assistance to the poor is tanned mount to budgetary witchcraft. that'not a republican -- i mean, that's not a democrat. that's joe scarborough, conservative member from northern florida with whom i serve. now most people see him on "morning joe" every day. the fact is that's what he said. now,we're looking for a counteroffer because we don't agree with some of h.r. 1 as you well know. as a matter of fact, every conservative democrat, every liberal democrat and everybod in between voted no on h.r. 1, as did three of your republicans over there and susan collins, who voted for it, said she didn't like the elements in it. so what i am saying to my friend very sincerely is he can preach all he wants is we need to cut spending. we agree with that. and the issue is where do you cut it from, what impact does it have, does it sustain the economy or does it deflate the
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economy? does it create jobs or does it lose jobs? does it help people who need help or does it abandon people who need help? that's the issue, and what i'm saying to my friend with all due respect is we have made an offer. the gentleman wants to talk about the president. article 1 of the constitution says we need to do this. this is our responsibility. the people elected us to do it, and the people elected us to reach agreement. and how do you reach agreement? this is what i want. this is what you want. but if what you said we have come up, we have moved pretty substantially. we think it was appropriate to move. now we are asking you, are you prepared to move from the position you have taken consistently at your figure which a lot of your folks thinks has problem in some parts. i am asking and you are apparently not going to make a counteroffer as to, we took
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$100 billion. couldn't pass it. couldn't pass the senate. what i mean by you, the senate didn't pass it. the gentleman is absolutely correct. but we democrats have made the offer here and there of the $51 billion. the president's indicated he could sign that. he said that publicly. now, that's our offer sitting on the table. suspicion is you've rejected that offer. mr. cantor: i will say -- mr. hoyer: and if you've rejected it, what is your counteroffer is my question. i yield. mr. cantor: not to belabor the point, but i will say, mr. speaker, that there was not 60 votes in the senate for the offer he speaks of. in fact, there were more votes for the $60 billion off of the current funding levels that is our plan, so there is really no offer on the table that is valid because can't pass the senate. . what is the democratic senate offer on the table?
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the gentleman rightly says it is up to us in congress, the people elect us, to try and come together and agree upon a spending plan. what's the offer? there iso offer that could pass. in the senate. we passed the house version. we know where the house stands. so i'm just having difficulty understaing where e offer is. so again, mr. speaker, i think the gentleman has made his point. he's frustrated because he sees there's no movement because the senate's been unable to get an offe on the table that can garner 60 votes. so the gentleman wants us to negotiate with ourselves. no, we want to cut spending, keep the government opened. that's why we are in the position we are to do another stop-gap measure so that we can -- stopgap measure so that we can hopefully iron out some differences, cooperate, trying
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to keep the government open and cut spending so people in the private sector get back to work. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. as i understand what the gentleman's saying, if the senate can't get 60 votes, which we have seen theridlock for a long period of time where the senate can't get 60 votes, we are not going to go anywhere from the offer that he's made to pass something that can in fact garner 60 votes in the senate. i regret that the senate, frankly, didn't get 60 votes for our offer. and he is correct that he got a few more vtes for h.r. 1 than was gotten for the senate majority leader's counteroffer. but the fact of the matter is this is really an issue between the republicans and the democrats. senator mcconnell has said, as i know the majority leader says, we'll pass what the house passes. that's what he said.
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now, if that's the case, then we need to pass something that can garner 60 votes over there. we know that h.r. 1 couldn't get 60 votes. we know that senator reid's proposal couldn't get 60 votes. if we are going to move this government forward and not fund it on two-week cycles and senator mccain has said that funding defense department on two-week, or three-week cycles is undermining our national security, so there is no disagreement that doing things two weeks at a time does not make sense. if the gentleman's view is simply you will not make some offer that we think, and we can have aiscussion about, trying to come to agreement on that, that we can get 60 votes for in the senate and we are going to fund it on two-week cycles, i say to my friend that's going to be damaging to the economy, create great uncertainty, and undermine our national security. i would hope that the gentleman would see fit to determine where we can meet somewhere in the middle. we think we have got 51% of the
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way towards your 100. you keep talking about 60. that was not your pledge. your pledge was 100. the wayou got to 100 is count to 41. we have done that. we have done another 10. so we have come. we think 51% of the way. you don't count it that way. we understand that. but whateveray we come, we need to move on. you won the majority, god bless you. i'm sorry about that, but i live with it and there it is. you have the majority. and with the majority you have the responsibility to see if we can move this country forward. that's what newt gingrich said anti-can't be the perfectionist caucus as he referred to of sticking just at a number that doesn't have the votes in the united states senate. if we are going to be on this two-week cycle, i will tell my friend you may keep passing this two weeks at a time, none of us want to shut down government, but i will tell you while i and my colleagues, some of my
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colleagues may vote to do this one more time, for me it's the last time. we need to have a plan to fund this government for the balance of the fiscal year to september 30. it is irresponsible for us not to have that. and just each of us sticking to our number and you sticking to your number and just pointing fingers at one another saying the senate can't get 60 votes for anything we propose will not serve our country or our people. unless the gentleman wants to say something further, i'm going to yield back the balance of my ti. tany of some ill-intentione cuts made by the republicans. you just mentioned noa. i'd like to point out that as
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we're speaking we're waiting for the third tidal wave to hit the oregon coast. they're about an hour apart. we should be hit again in about 10 minutes. now, the reason we know where these waves are, what their amlitude is, the reason we are able to evacuate those communities last night, the reason that we're online right now with our state emergency services people is because of the warning buoys we have and the great work of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration and the weather service. and the republicans have proposed to decimate those programs in h.r. 11. so in the republican world, everybody at noaa that is furloughed for 21 days, if you live in japan or you live on the pacific coast or there are some tornadoes in the midwest, tough luck. we had to furlough those
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employees who would have warned you to evacuate the low-lying areas in the oregon-california coast and in hawaii but, no, they have targeted massive cuts at the noaa budget. $450 million. it's estimated that noaa would have, because of the time of year, 21 days of furloughs for all its employees. $110 million in cuts to the national weather service. a big cut to state disaster preparedness plans. so right now our emergency operation centers in oregon, in california, in hawaii are in full swing, and the reason that they are able to be in touch with people in scattered coastal communities, in relatively difficult areas is because of the federal assistance that we've given to them to set up these centers. and under the republicans' budget, we would cut $206
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million from state emergency operation centers. now, where are the states going to get the money in this bad climate? i guess those places won't be tended to either. we won't know the tidal waves are coming because they laid off the people at noaa. we don't know the tornadoes are happening, and even if we did happen to stumble over that fact despite these cuts, we won't have the emergency operation centers to coordinate, to evacuate people and to rescue and coordinate medical services. so i thank the gentleman for yielding. >> will the gentleman yield on that same point? mr. schrader: absolutely. mr. dicks: we have a number of indian tribes that are right down on the coastal waters which -- and several of them are trying to move back because of a tsunami. and this is a great wake-up call. one of the things i'm worried about are the splites. we have new satellites that we're supposed to be procuing.
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this program is in some trouble, and i'm worried that these cuts are going to affect the ability of noaa to get these satellites in a proper time. and they give us the warning, you know, on major weather fronts. so this is another important aspect of this. and so i think this is -- and fema is another problem. i just want to rise to congratulate the two gentlemen from oregon for bringing this to the floor as we watch to see how these tsunamis hit the west coast of the united states. i mean, some of the weather forecasters have said this could be a very serious problem, and we hope it is, but i just wanted to associate myself with the remarks that have been made here and stress how important both noaa -- the noaa budget is and the importance of getting these satellites replaced in a timely way. thank you for yielding.
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mr. defazio: if the gentleman would just yield again. mr. schrader: indeed. mr. defazio: this all started with our former colleague, bobby jindal, now governor of louisiana, a year before last he made fun of the money that was being appropriated for volcano monitoring. actually, i live in a region that has a number of dormant volcanos. not extinct. dormant. we're watching that all the time. there's a potential for one that could wipe out some communities and people downstream. certainly up in the seattle area, there's concerns about mount rainier. we have mount hood and others. so all of this attack on emergency services seem to come with all of the juice that bobby jindal got out of criticizing volcano monitoring. well, i think it's pretty darn important to monitor volcanos.
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mr. dicks: we had a volcano that erupted, mount st. helen's erupted. when i was chairman of the interior, they had a complex system of detection. the rest of the country doesn't. washington and oregon do not have the same level of early warning equipment. so i think this is another thing that we got to work on. and, again, these cuts are going to make it more difficult tore us to -- for us to get the equipment we need to predict when these things are going. i am worried about mount rainier. they could have the lahar, and we have been told by usgs that washington state could have a nine. this was 8.9. look at the enormous damage done there. we could have another major event in the future. i hope it doesn't happen, but it does happen every 300 or 400
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years. i yield back. mr. schrader: it may happen sooner than that. you can't help but notice the devastate wrought in new zealand and now japan. this is the volatile pacific rim. there are a great deal of problems we ought to be careful. the congresswoman of hawaii is feeling the brunt of it. ms. hirono: will the gentleman yield? i thank the two gentlemen from oregon for bringing this matter to our attention. i think we make a very serious mistake that in a fervor to cut budgets and do it in a meat ax way that we're cutting very, very -- the very programs that we're going to need to rely upon in times like this and times like this meaning the kind of devastation that has hit japan. of course, hawaii is the first u.s. state to be hit with the -- with the tidal wave that follows -- followed that disaster, and it's still playing out. we still haven't done the
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all-clear sign in hawaii, by the way. the kinds of cuts that we're contemplating in h.r. 12, fema will have a major impact. i also want to say before i go further that our hearts go out to the people of japan and we stand ready to assist them in any way. i think that it so important during a time like this that we have the resources to employ the best technology, cutting edge equipment, well-trained personnel to respond when these emergencies occur. and when this tragedy occurred in japan, in fact, the dedicated federal employees at the national weather service at the warning center were there to provide warning to the people of our islands. it allowed the coast guard, hawaii civil defense and other state and county officials to put into motion the state's emergency warning response plan. and this whole thing began to unfold in hawaii in the very
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early morning hours. i'm just grateful that all of our first responders had everything they needed in order to be able to take the appropriate actions. so they had to decide whether or not schools would be open, public buildings were going to remain open and in fact they did evacuate people in the low-lying areas just to make sure that the safety of our people and our visitors would be protected. so as of right now the reports are encouraging in hawaii. there has been some floodings on some islands. the damage is thankfully not severe and no reports of injuries or fatalities. as i mentioned, the all-clear sign is not there yet. so the kind of cuts to fema, as we mentioned already, the national oceanic and atmospheric administration would have seen its budget cut by $454.3 million, including $126 million cuts to the national weather service.
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so there goes advanced warning. the cuts would not have spared the federal emergency management agency, fema, either. and according to the transportation and infrastructure committee's analysis, cuts to fema and the coast guard would have totaled $441 million. . this includes a cut to the coast guard acquisition construction and improvement accounts. money for ships and equipment to deal with emergencies. a $50 million cut to fema's interoperable emergency communications grants program. money that helps our first reporters equipment to communicate with each other. this is a huge problem when 9/11 occurred where our first responders could not keep track of what was going on, couldn't talk to each other. $35 million cuts to fema's predisaster mitigation grants, hurting our community's ability to implement necessary prevention measures against
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threats. we have heard about we should do more with less. in our transportation and infrastructure committee hearing where we had the people from the coast guard come to testify, these kinds of cuts means that they really are facing doing less with less. and we also hear about families need to -- they understand the need to cut. well, when families cut, they do less with less. so these kinds of slogans and the kind of meat axe approach to the kind of cuts that we are looking at in h.r. 1 are devastating. and especially now when we are once again confronted with a huge, huge natural disaster in japan that can have ramifications on particularly on hawaii and the west coast guard -- -- west coast against shows the foolishness of these kinds of massive cuts that really disable our ability to deal with these disasters.
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i yield back. mr. schrader: breaking news in oregon. mr. defazio: i just got an email and got to take a phone call in the cloorm. they just announced some heavy waves have come into the harbor, this would be the third period of waves. the fourth or fifth might be the worst. the port tells me the docks are breaking apart. luckily since we had ample warning because we still do have noaa and we still do have buoys before these republican cuts go into effect, there were no people on the docks. at this point we are not aware anyone has been injured. but this is a serious and developing situation. i would expect the gentleman's district just novert mine -- north of mine is probably having a similar experience. mr. schrader: we are on the phone right now trying to make sure the folks are safe. i do know that the schools have been evacuated. and the lower elevations that are very flood prone, they have taken precautions. thank goodness, thanks to the
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comments i have heard from the gentlelady from hawaii and the congressman from washington as well as my colleague from oregon, we have some of these programs in place that can actually save lives and make sure that the economic infrastructure hopely in the -- hopefully in the future is not at risk. just this morning i had a visit from the oregon state university talking about a program that's in danger because of these cuts, because of the cuts to national science foundation programs, along with n.i.h. and anything else that's got research that the republicans are trying to cut away, that they've got a great prospect. they have hired 25 people already. they are putting buoys on the floor of the ocean and sensing devices to actually have real-time monitoring of ocean conditions. so we can actually anticipate what's going object happening long before it actually hits our coast. we can also plan, plan our fisheries, plan what we need to do with ocean acidfication
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that's devastating oysters up and down the coast on the pacific coast. and actually in other parts of the world right now. the leading research is being done in my district, in my district on oyster larva and trying to make sure that ocean acidfication does not cause a problem. that stuff is in danger right now. i don't think some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle understand how important this stuff is. we are going to have to be watching very carefully i think going forward to make sure there are not these bludgeoning deep cuts that are not really smart. where's the discussion about the duplicative programs? we just had a great g.a.o. report. i have heard a lot of posturing on the other side. it's not included in h.r. 1. there's programs -- look at this. in afghanistan and iraq, we've got usaid programs and department of defense rebuilding the country. there's not even a centralized data system that tracks u.s. government -- u.s. funds used.
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that's crazy. why aren't we looking at that? why isn't that part of what we are working on? our domestic food assistance programs. there's 18 different programs. i want to see something in a budget resolution or a proposal going forward that talks about streamlining some of this stuff. the data collection, the administration of these programs, you could save millions and millions and perhaps billions of dollars. and here's a quote. little is known of the effectiveness of some of these programs. because they have not been well studied. the job training, i talk about job training, they are taking a meat axe to it. there's 47 programs in job training. let's get those organized so we can leverage the limited dollars we are going to be able to put forward in these tough economic times. same thing for transportation for the disadvantaged. 80 different programs. laudable but let's get together on this. again, there doesn't need to be 80 different programs. where are my colleagues' concrete proposals -- they are in charge, where are their
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proposals to improve this for goodness sakes? military health, veteran services. we got to do right by our men and women that have served this country through times good and times bad. a responsibility are distributed so far widely we can't even get critical procurement centralized communities that would save billions of dollars. billions and billions of dollars. we also have a situation where the department of defense now if they need money, rather than go through appropriate channels, they have their urgent needs processes for developing, modifying, and fielding new military capabilities. that's being accused, folks. they found eight entities that respond to them. five for counteri.e.d. technologies. they have no way of tracking the system for this program. no way of tracking metrics for this program. must be nice. to be able to spend the taxpayers' money with no accountability. i was at dinner the other night
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working on some budget issues, and it came out that when asked the department of defense was asked about contracting. how many civilian folks do you have under contract? how many people are you contracting with? their answer was, somewhere between one million and 10 million. that's a big range, folks. that's a big range. department of defense has no clue as to how and what they are doing. where's that money being spent? we cannot afford rampant undisciplined, unauditible that's been used, spending in the department of defense. they are supposed to report and come in with a coherent budget. it has been determined it is unauditable, folks. we talk about the domestic side and, yes, there are certain things we can do as i'm talking about here to improve the programs, but it's also on the defense side that we have got to
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get our act together. let's talk about economic development. we want to make sure we are getting the biggest bang for the buck here. we have 80 different economic development programs. spread through commerce, h.u.d., usda, small business administration. it's all good that we are doing that, but let's have some centralized opportunities. let's leverage the resources. in my home state of oregon when i was budget chair, we would see the federal government money come in, it was different programs tied with these little strings, made it difficult for my local agencies and local communities to use the money, very, very inflexible. and that's got to end. we got to break down these sigh lows, allow people to work across the spectrum so that we can get the biggest bang for the buck. i'd also point out that in our surface transportation programs, we work really hard trying to keep america competitive. in the h.r. 1, there are huge cuts to the transportation budget. if we are going to be competitive going forward, like
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we were after world war ii and eisenhower, republican president, and congress put together a secure highway fund, realizing that our security depended on having interstate highway that is were connected, you could travel at a reasonable rate, we need to be thinking along those same lines now. if they were worried about the cost of that program and not the security of this country or economic benefits, it would have never gotten off the ground. this is a capital program. and again my colleagues across the aisle don't seem to understand the difference between an operational budget and the capital budget. we need to be making infrastructure investments right now. there's an opportunity for america, probably a narrow window, the next 10 years, for us to be competitive going forward with the rest of the world. right now the developing nations that are pretty developed like china, india, they are developing a 21st century infrastructure, we are still dealing with a 20th century infrastructure, and that's not going to cut it, colleagues.
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that's not just not going to get the job done. we've got to be thinking about making the strategy investments. there are businesses -- so our businesses can be competitive worldwide around the globe. right now there's a new enterprise in my home state of oregon, on the coast, that's currently undersiege through the natural disasters, where they are actually trying to export crab, the best crab in the world, no disrespect to my colleagues from maryland, the best crab in the world comes from the pacific coast, north coast if you will, they are able to export live crab to china. but the hurdles to go through to get there are almost insurmountable. that was started back in 2003. they tried to get a program going. because of the difficulties in transporting and some of the bureaucratic red tape to go through that, it didn't work. they have now come up with a much more viable program for a whole new industry to really export to china.
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instead of china exporting here and hurting our jobs, we are creating jobs in the pacific northwest and exporting high quality products to china. we need more of that sort of innovation going forward. that's the type of investment and infrastructure. we shouldn't have to ship it to vancouver b.c. to get it over there. we should be able to have a direct flight from portland, oregon, to make that actually happen. so i think we are missing the boat here in terms of what we are trying to effect and the issues i think that we are dealing with in this h.r. 1. we are trying to hit only domestic programs, programs that our kids depend on, penalizing the kids' future. oftentimes i hear my colleagues across the aisle talk about got to worry about our kids and grandkids. i see the photos brought to the floor. let's worry about them and support the education programs i talked about earlier. let's support the early health care prevention programs that were in the health care bill last congress. make sure our kids don't suffer from the same problems that are debilitating obese americans
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right now. i mean we know that prevention is important. we must be funding prevention. we need the innovation to come up with the programs to make sure that our chronic diseases are under control. the health care cuts in h.r. 1 are unbelievable. i know it's politically the big mantra to roll back or repeal health care reform, but, folks, that is the wrong way to go right now. our health care system's broken, desperately needs help. my colleague from the north coast of oregon. mr. wu: i thank my -- the gentleman, my friend, my friend in the adjoining representative on my southern border, and my colleague from the state of oregon. we rise together and i rise today to recognize the tremendous tragedy that has struck japan early this morning. this tragedy follows on other tragedies similar in nature that affected chile early this year
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and haiti in the very recent past. we have in the pacific northwest feel a special connection to these events because we have the cascadea fault off of coast of washington, oregon, and northern california. and about a 250-mile stretch of the cascadea fault is locked tight. with great regularity since the last ice age, 12,000 years ago, the furthest back that we can reach in our studies, this fault locked up, has snapped, and created earthquakes of 9.0 magnitude, very similar to the 8.9 richter scale magnitude earthquake that struck japan early this morning. our hearts go out to the japanese people, and to their friends and relatives who are here in the united states.
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we have an obligation and we have an ability to mitigate these problems to plan for them, and to reduce the risk to the american people and to oregonians. legislation past in the congress addresses these risks in a comprehensive way. by uniting the risks of fire, wind, flood, and earthquakes we can better allocate scarce resources in this era of scarce resources so that we can better get -- get a better buy on the federal dollar. different agencies are involved in reducing the risk of earthquake, we know about fema and how it can do a great job and how it can do a poor job. fema is primarily engaged in the business of recovering from natural disasters, and it is
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part of the all hazards legislation that i passed last session. . nist, one of the agencies under the jurisdiction of the subcommittee which i chaired last congress, nist is in the business of prevention, of researching what causes building failure, of doing model codes, of promulgating model codes so that the local and state building codes can encourage and indeed require more earthquake resistant buildings and indeed also other infrastructures, such as raillines, bridges and airports. these are all important infrastructure that in chile survived to a decent extent with the severe earthquake of japan, even with japan's high standards, a remarkable number of structures are currently incapacitated and we can do better and we will do better by adequately supporting these
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very important research and standard setting agencies. furthermore, an agency that mr. schrader talked about, noaa, that is going to bring jobs to oregon and an important part of mr. schrader's congressional district, but important to the whole northwest and our entire region, noaa does a crucial service by helping to support education. educating not just our young people but all citizens about earthquakes and especially tsunami. it is the young people just out of college who are funded with fellowships, and they call together sessions, and i've seen these sessions convened in our state of oregon, and they educate the residents about how to reduce the risk, how to behave during an earthquake, how to evacuate and the best
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routes to take to escape. these are crucial activities, these are crucial activities to surviving an earthquake and the earthquake's natural consequence off our coast, a tsunami. and the not just the residents of the coast because the population of the coast is swelled several times by inland residents who come to oregon's beautiful shoreline, and those students and those adults also need this education so that instead of going out to the shore to look at a receding waterline which many people in indonesia did, you know, it's a natural curiousity and you don't necessarily know that a tsunami is about to follow. this kind of education so you know, head for high ground
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right now. don't delay. as soon as the ground stops moving, head for high ground. this inexpensive education will save lives. it's what has been done in some parts of the world and has saved lives. it hasn't been done in other parts of the world and our casualty figures reflect it. the all other hazardous legislation knits these different components together. noaa, for education purposes, nist to set standards, to do research, to prevent building collapses and bridge collapses and other collapses which cost us money and business downtime, fema, to recover from that damage which occurs. these are crucial things to do and we know what the price of inaction is. this government has responded heroically and well when
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minimal appropriate investments are made. and when those investments aren't made, when the preparing agencies aren't prepared themselves, then we have something like katrina where american citizens were found floating face down in the dark waters in new orleans. we should never ever fail americans in that manner again. and mr. schrader and mr. defazio and i, we'll be darned if we are going to let oregonians suffer the way some americans had to, making these small dollar investments today will save lives tomorrow. it's the smart thinking to do. it's a wise thing to do. it's the right thing to do. pinch pennies and pound foolish will cost lives.
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i thank the gentleman for yielding me time and i yield back. mr. schrader: i thank the gentleman from the north coast of my state for his comments. they are right on the money and very, very appreciated at this time. i'd like to yield some time to the gentlelady from hawaii, our new member. welcome. ms. hanabusa: thank you. i'd like to first begin by extending heart felt condolences to the people of japan and they should all know that we will stand by them as they work to recover from this tragic disaster. but i'd also like to say thank you. thank you to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who have come up to me today and they've asked a single question -- is everything all right at home? is your family all right? do you have family in japan? and it didn't matter whether one was an r or one was a d, those concerns were genuine.
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as i walked over here, a guard asked me, ms. hanabusa, is everything ok at home? it struck me, we are a people and we are always going to be there to help others. we must also look is why hawaii has really been prepared for these kinds of disasters. you know, and i do congratulate both the pacific tsunami warning center as well as our officials back home who did an excellent job preparing. but i'd also like people to consider what it cost and how we're able to come here. remember when the good senator from hawaii, senator inoue, did that thing, the tsunami warning center and, yes, it was an earmark, he had the foresight as only, for example, like my
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good colleagues from oregon and people that represent their districts know what that district needs and started way back when with the pacific tsunami warning center. and that has grown. if you watch the -- if you watched the news this morning you can hear our projections are this, we're looking at what's going on and we think it would be about two feet. we got those projections before it hit hawaii. and you know what, they were right. and what do we have to attribute to that? the fact that there was wisdom and there was funding and there was the recognition that a pacific tsunami warning center was essential. and it's not only for hawaii. it's for the whole pacific. when they wanted information, what it meant for guam, what it meant for japan, what it meant for the west coast, who was the expert? the pacific tsunami warning center. it is unfortunate that in h.r.
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1 it stands massive cuts. it is also unfortunate that people look upon it like it's that earmark and, therefore, should be cut. i ask my same colleagues on both sides who said, is everything all right at home, to realize that and to recognize that the one way you can help protect not only the people of the state of hawaii but the west coast as well as anywhere in the pacific rim is to set aside labels and to recognize that it is funding like that that goes to save lives and that is what we can rely upon. so when we remember this unfortunate and tragic day, let us also remember how fortunate we were because we had information and we were prepared and how inexpensive being prepared is when you look at the investments that have been made. thank you very much, and i
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yield back to the gentleman from oregon. thank you. mr. schrader: i appreciate the very kind remarks and, indeed, our hearts go out to the people of japan much like they did in new zealand. very concerned about the health and welfare and i'm sure this country will come to their aid like it does in any disaster and like a lot of our friends did when we suffered similar consequences, whether it's katrina or the horrible attacks on 9/11. we had our brothers and sisters around the world come to our aid, and i appreciate that. i guess i'd like to ask how much time we have left in the hour, if i may. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 15 minutes. mr. schrader: ok. and to follow on the gentlelady's remarks, i think there are areas where we can get together. the illusion cutting the domestic budget for this country, the discretionary budget is going to solve our woes and put us back in financial balance and avoid the
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armageddon that's somewhat before us is little bit -- well, it's a horrible illusion. i don't think my colleagues -- i really don't think it's going to be solving any of our problems. even the defense reductions that i talked about that are targeted to increase the efficiency of the department of defense and make sure or warriors get what they really need, including the defense budget, it's not going to get to the root cause of our debt and deficit problems. as we all know that, those two domestic and defense discretionary expenses only account for about 30%, 30% of the budget for the american people. the bulk of it is tied up in other areas. our tax code is shown to be extremely inadequate. we're collecting revenues now at an all-time low. yeah, some is the rescission. some is the recession. but it's because we give away on tax breaks than the
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discretionary budget. yeah, $1.2 billion given away in tax expenditures. we spend money on these tax breaks. it's spending money by giving away all these breaks. we need to broaden our tax breaks. if we need to be real in solving our budget problems we need to start to embrace some of the recommendations if not the package that the fiscal commission the president set up last year, we need to embrace those recommendations in some form. this is the real meat of the issue, colleagues. this is where the rubber meets the road. if we do not actually have the guts, the political courage to 
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] but did little to plan for the future. or even worse, they failed to respond to the issues of their day. we can't allow that to happen. and so i ask you tonight to think about leadership and the hard decisions that it can demand. we have those hard decisions before us but i believe our
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better future starts today. by directly confronting our challenges, we may take the first steps on a path to prosperity. our greatest responsibility this year is to pass a budget that closes the enormous deficit, invests in our schools and fixes structural problems. in recent years, we relied on federal funding to close our budget gaps instead of making tough choices on what services our government should provide and how much we can afford. the federal stimulus has ended and now we face a deficit of $295 million for 2012. obviously we can no longer delay difficult decisions. my budget aims to fix the deficit through program cuts while ensuring we do not harm the state investments that are
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necessary for growth. one of the key areas we must examine is the sales tax. at 7% rhode island has the highest sales tax in new england yet because we exempt food and clothing and various items, tonight i'm proposing a two tiered sales tax that will address ourer in term need while making our state more competitive. while i do not like the idea of opposing new taxes, we -- proposing new taxes, we must take this vital step to address our deficit. during the campaign, i recommended using taxing currently exempt items at 1% and remain committed to that plan to help us reduce our deficit. however, i also believe that the government should always listen to its citizens in a response the concerns that the 1% sales tax may pose a hardship on our
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populations and propose maintaining our current exemmingses for food, gasoline and medical devices, all would remain exempt from the sales tax. there is another simple and fairway to increase revenue. rhode island businesses are facing unfair competition from internet sales, which are normally not subject to the sales tax. this is no small problem. rhode island is projects to lose $70 million in sales tax revenue to internet and other remote sales in the fiscal year 2012. while i believe the internet sales provides consumers with access to more options, they should not enjoy advantage over our local businesses by being exempt from the sales tax. this is a federal issue and i am calling on congress to pass the main street fairness act to allow states to collect sales
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tax from out of stale sellers. this would level the playing field between out of state retailers and rhode island businesses. when i was in washington, d.c. i raised the issue with house speaker john boehner and senate majority leader harry reed. i will continue to press for passage. it would provide us with enough revenue to repeal the 1% sales packs. -- tax. [applause] looking ahead, we must also modernize our sales tax so it adapts to a changing economy. when the sales tax when enacted in rhode island in 1947, 60% of u.s. personal household con assumption was of good and 40% on services. since then, the u.s. has moved to a more service-based economy.
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the average household spends 70% on services and 30% on good yet the items subject to the sales tax have not change. to modernize our system i propose expanding the sales tax to include certain services such as dry cleaning, beauty salons. if we broaden it we can lower it to a more competitive rate. i propose reducing it from 7% to 6%, returning it to the level -- [applause] this returns it to the level we had in 1990 before the credit union crisis. the new 6% rate would be lower in massachusetts and in the proposed rate for connecticut. encouraging more people to shop in our state and providing much needed boosts to our retail industry here. but also send a signal to rhode
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island that rhode island is committed to attracting new businesses. any talk of taxes is painful in a time of recession but we have to make our state solvent if we are to rebuild. the sacrifices we make today will be bearable if they are shared equally by all of our citizens and if they lead clearly and unmistakably to a better future for our children. avoid solving our problems is not only a failure to discharge our responsibility, it is in the long haul, more expensive. by confronting these problems immediately, we will show the world that we are serious about returning rhode island to greatness. but raising new revenues through a modernized sales tax gets us only halfway to closing the deficit if we want to balance the tpwhunlt the -- budget in the short and long term, we must cut spending.
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human services programs are the largest portion of the state budget and the fastest growing. unless we take action, spending on these programs is on a track to grow between $96 million between 2008 and 2012 drivenlying health care costs and in comparison, spending in other state government agencies in rhode island climbed only $12 million over the same year and because municipal aid was cut by $195 million over the same period of time. it is time to make hard decisions about what services our government should provide and how much we are willing to pay for them. working with the office of health and human ssts, we conducted a top to bottom review of all of its top five departments and identified areas for savings. restructuring existing contracts, improving
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oversilingte sight of our programs, we can cut spending by over $60 million in the fiscal year 2012 with an even larger amount for 2013. many of these reforms are common sense paying providers the same rate for comparable services. the changes will make our health care payment system more transparent and able to evaluate what we are getting for our tax dollars. the goal of these spending cuts was to minimize the impact on beneficiaries but the cut also still cause controversy and i encourage you to discuss and debate these proposals thoroughly but at the end of the day, i urge you to recognize that we cannot simply continue to fund our current level of services. i also propose $20 million in cuts to other departments as the first step in a larger review of
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their operations and management. state government administers many important programs that affect our systems, yet we have in systematic way of knowing how well we are doing. i'm working with my department directors and their employees to review operations throughout our government. we must identify the most important responsibilities of government, ensure we do them well and decide how to measure their effectiveness. we will make our department more accountable and efficient and then determine which programs are worthy of continued investment and which ones should be modified or eliminated. a combination of revenue enhancements and cuts will help us close the current deficit, but that is not enough. our budget most promote economic development for long-term growth. one area of particular attention is our state's business climate. for too long it has been targeted towards individual
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companies instead of creating an environment that fosters broad economic growth. one such example is the jobs development tax credit which lowers the corporate rate for compliance for companies that create jobs. the program is well intended, in reality, very few companies can navigate its complex reporting requirements and its effectiveness is difficult to determine. it also chris an unfair advantage from multistate companies for operations in rhode island by allowing them to send profits out of state to avoid paying taxes here. rhode island companies with most of their sales here enjoy no such advantage. by moving our system to combined reporting, we can treat all of our businesses fairly. we need a climate where all businesses are encouraged to grow and prosper.
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tonight i propose that we phase out to jobs development tax credit and design the system for corporate taxation. the revenue we gain if those changes will allow us to lower the corporate minimum tax from 500 to $250 for more than 30,000 small businesses. [applause] that is good. we also reduce our corporate tax rate over three years from 9%, one of the highest in the nation, to 7.5%. putting us on a par with connecticut and lower than massachusetts. [applause] this lower corporate tax rate will benefit existing businesses with plans to expand their
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operations as well as make our state more attractive to companies looking to locate here. another important factor in promoting economic growth in rhode island is developing a well educated and skilled workforce. last year, the general assembly passed a legislation creating an education funding formula. that will ensure our cities and towns have a stable and predictable source of revenue to invest in public education for the first time. congratulations. [applause] even in these difficult times, my budget honors that agreement by providing the additional funds necessary to support the school funding formula. [applause] i am committed to ensuring a
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first class public education system for our students so that they can graduate with the skills needed to succeed. [applause] we must also make -- -- the best area we can make our investments. we also must make lasting investments in higher education systems. we are fortunate enough to have three fine public institutions of learning. the university of rhode island, rhode island college and the community college of rhode island. each plays an important role in educating our students. unfortunately, the state's contribution to rhode island's higher education, as you know, has plummeted in recent years. my budget reverses that trend by proposing an additional $10 million for a higher education system. [applause]
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even if those tough times, we must demonstrate our commitment to higher education and to the young people of this state. there is no more important running on the ladder to success. maintaining our transportation infrastructure is another vital investment in our state's future. one of the government's core functions is to build and maintain roads and brings, yet our method of paying for it is broken. right now the department of transportation uses proceeds from the gas tax to fund part of the state's share over the federal highway project. we borrow the rest. the number of potholes and closed bridges in our state demonstrates we need more funding in our state for transportation. rhode island has one of the highest gas tax rates in the country and we cannot raise it higher. instead, we must break our habit of borrowing money to build
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roads. in 2011, rhode island will spend $46.6 million in debt service on transportation. that is more than $40 million we could have spent to repave our roads and rebuild bridgs. by making incremental additions to this fund over time, we can diversify our transportation funding sources, avoid increases in the gas tax and reduce our wasteful interest payments. [applause] >> $43 million this year alone for interest payments. we have to change that.
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our unfunded like it is about $5 million and the gap could be even larger. the current system is unsustainable and a burden on our taxpayers. in fiscal year 2012 the state is contributing toward state employee and teacher pensions and that number will increase the $422 million by fiscal year 2016. that's a 77% increase over four years. the state has made some progress in recent years to address the problem, but we do need a comprehensive plan. under terms of the agreement made by the previous administration state employees received a 3% cost of living adjustment in january and are scheduled to se another one in july. july 1. tonight i propose allstate employees contribute it towards the state pension program. i would also ask teachers, state
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police and other contributors to match the new rate of 11.5% since all of these groups benefit from a strong pension system. this proposal will provide $40 million in additional contributions this year and i am asking all rhode islanders to make these sacrifices, i believe this increased contribution rate is reasonable and warranted. these higher funding levels will last until we establish a comprehensive pension reform time, at which time we can adjust them as necessary. we expect more information in coming months about the financial state of our pension system. using that information, i will work with you in the general assembly and all interested parties to establish a long-term solution. this solution should align the interests of the rhode island taxpayers and the public employees. finally, as we work together to tackle our state's problems, we
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must not ignore the challenges facing local governments. like our state, many cities and towns face deficits and unfunded pension plans. unfortunately, we have contributed to that problem. as i said earlier, we have cut state aid to cities and towns by $195 million over the last four years in an effort to balance our own budgets. if we do not want additional cities and towns to face the problems confronting providence and central falls, we must take action now. my budget includes an additional $5 million in aid to disstressed communities in this year to help cities and downtowns in the greatest need. i also propose a new aid initiative and transparency program. the mass program will provide nearly $20 million in additional funds to communities that pursue sound financial planning and budgeting practices.
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those cities and towns that do not make the necessary changes in the coming years will forfeit a portion of their state aid. under this program, the state will be able to more closely work with cities and towns to understand their challenges at an early stage and avoid crisis. the state should encourage municipalities to get their finances in order and we must set an example by demonstrating our own commitment to fiscal responsibility. i want to say a word about how this budget will affect rhode islanders. my barber ernie will now have to charge a sales tax that will cut into his tips, but he is willing to bear his part of the burden if we live up to our responsibilities in this chamber. if we spend funds with discipline so our economy recovers and our people are well served, then these sacrifices
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will have met their purpose. my goal into the long-term is to reduce our taxes to be more competitive, and i also want to act all of you to pledge with me that we will commit to lower taxes it is a economy recovers. [applause] -- as the economy recovers. applause as those in this chamber know, the budget i am submitting tonight is requiring to use the revenue projegses from last november's conference. we have some indication that the actual revenues may be higher than the november estimates. if those trends hold, i strongly encourage this chamber to use that additional money to lower tax instead of adding new spending. ideally -- [applause]
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we want to continue to get more competitive and ideally we could lower our sales tax to 5.75%, which would be a signal to the region and to the nation that rhode island is serious about reducing our tax burden. you can do it. [applause] let's hope the may numbers are good and we can get to 5.75. it would be a great signal. over the last 30 minutes, you have listened to numbing phrases such as unfunded liability, structural deficits, combined reporting and corporate minimum tax. let me be clear. all of our challenges are made easier by a growing economy. if we demonstrate fiscal discipline, our economy will prosper. i have been a deficit hawk throughout my entire career in public service.
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i firmly believe that the reason the nation is in this economic state is that we lost our discipline and let our deficit soar. the many challenges facing our state are intimidating but not insurmountable. this does no propose to solve all of our woes in a single year but is the first step on a bold new path to prosperity. long-term vision is the form of leadership that we need at this turning point in rhode island's history. 21st century can be another great century for rhode island. we must begin to think anew. getting rhode island on the right path will be making -- will mean making some difficult decisions, but i am confident that we will work together to restore the greatness that is that still radiates from this statehouse. thank you. [applause]
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>> on as to's "washington journal" we'll discuss public transportation with american public transportation association president william michigan ill -- -- millar. a look at the problem of bullying in schools with francisco negron. "washington journal" begins live at 7:00 a.m. eastern time on c-span. >> potential republican presidential contenders have been making stops in key primary
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states. this weekend on "road to the white house" michelle bachman at a fundraiser for the republican state committee sunday at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. eastern and pacific. the libyan ambassadors to the u.s. and united nations today called for formal recognition of the newly formed national transitional council. this was hosted at the national press club in washington. >> in the name of god, the most compassionate, the most mercyful, the statement for libyans residing in the united states and canada. after more than 41 years, after living in one of the -- --
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regimes in world, the libyan people have risen up to suppress their oppressions for freedom and democracy and peaceful demonstrations. the world has been shocked by muammar gadhafi's response to these demonstrations and by his public threats to eliminate all opponents using any means. since the beginning of the protests on february 15, the unarmed demonstrators have been exposed to excessive force, including the use of live ammunition, aircraft, guns, tanks and airplanes to murder demonstrators and citizens. in a manner which the world has not seen before.
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we the sons and daughters of libya, residing in the united states and canada, as we pray for the souls of the martyrs and salute the struggle of our libyan people for the sake of their legit rights announce the following. we call for the complete and swizz application to have united nation's security council resolution, 1970. we give our complete support for the february 17 revolution represented by the libyan national transition of council, which was formed under the
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leadership and we consider the national transitional council the legitimate representative of the libyan people. we value recognition of the national transitional council and we call on the american government, the canadian government, the arab league, the organization of the islamic conference, the united nations, the african union, and all nations of the world to recognize the national transitional council as the sole representative of the libyan people and the sole agent responsible for its welfare. it is the only body recognized to make decisions to the
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political situation in libya and to its national relations and to determine the type of requests, the type of requested international support. we call on the government, we call on all government and international organizations to provide support ander gent aid to libyan people who have been exposed to unprecedented war crimes at the hands of muammar gadhafi, his children, his cronies and his mercenaries. we call on the american government, the canadian government, libya's neighboring countries, the international community, and all the international organizations to take steps to minimize the legal and procedural obstacles that
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hinder relief organizations so that they may provide urgent humanitarian aid to the libyan people. long live libya. free, sovereign and democratic. united under its capital, tripoli. washington, d.c., united states of america, march 11, 2011. [applause] >> we welcome our other panelists. and we will give each one of them five minutes to address us and after that, we will open the question and answer session. >> thank you very much.
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i'm very happy to be here today and i have to thank libyan community for supporting us since i came to this country. it is my pleasure to serve you and to know you and to cooperate with you. well, as you know, most of what i want to say has been said already, but i just want to decide on a few points. our main duty now is the no-fly zone because our people are getting killed every day. the regime, the tactics they are using, everything, sky, air, land, ground, and also sea. they are bombing from every side. using every kind of weapon they have in their hands. reason number one. number two, we want recognition of the n.i.c. this is a body which we really want to coordinate on the and to
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have communication with the international community. the other thing we need is the -- is very important. medical assistance. we want recognition from this council. your duty here to help us maybe i summarize in two things. first you have to keep in touch. it is very good. very strong. i met with senator mccain, lieberman, luxembourg, a few of them. now, i need you to -- with the government, you have to show your support. you have to show your support for the council. and of course, you know that --
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the situation is very serious. the regime is using any kind of dirty and -- to kill people. now there is another wave of killing. today we hear that a few people have been killed and assassinated by special police or security. that's what i want to say, then if there is some question, i will answer. thank you very much. >> thank you. just to add to what he said, we received information that some almosts of gadhafi's secret service have begun to bomb some streets. he is now attacking civilians with a different way of attack.
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both guys i knew for about 40 years. decent libyans. he has shown in the united nations security council that he is a true libyan and we welcome him and give him the floor. thank you. br benghazi. it is a pleasure for me to be -- all of us i think are completely -- libya. our people are suffering, but they are brave. courageous. all of us, we know that freedom is not free. freedom is not free. that's the lesson we inherited. our great people.
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the council of libya is very big. very huge. today it was very small. this operation will be more bloody. we expect a lot of -- we suffered a lot. we'll continue. i am sure that he is completely insane.
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he is completely disconnecteded. and he is -- and his community is divided. at the end of the day, i think he is going to flee, if he is going to find a haven, i don't know or where to go or to commit suicide or to be killed by someone in his inner circle. he will be the last tyrant of the world and libya will be an excellent country because we suffered a lot of dictatorship. our remedy will be democracy. we will have a new religion. islam. freedom. years of freedom. libya of freedom.
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we are he had to fight muammar gadhafi. the libyan people will -- when we will -- where we will choose -- but look. you think that you are going to take -- and have victory against -- my language -- i should
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resist. that is old language. not victory or defeat. it is our must. our duty. to fight. we'll never surrender. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you for the very, very warm words and courageous words. now the floor is for the journalists. to give them the opportunity. can the mic -- here? the other mic -- where is the other michigan ic? -- mic? i have two mics? one on this side and the other mic?
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i would like everyone to recognize himself or herself first and then address whoever they want from the panel. yes? >> [speaking foreign language]
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>> considering under what umbrella i'm going to work now. i think that will discussed very carefully with the united states department of state and we already have the -- realized that we will be active to work here and actually i have the authorization about maybe 10 days ago from council to represent the libyan people. >> [speaking foreign language]
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[speaking foreign language]
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[speaking foreign language] >> we don't have -- whoever asks in a language will be responded to this the same language. just a minute. one here and one here. >> ambassador, yesterday the former deputy secretary of
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defense spoke of the no-fly zone as an ill-advised effort and later on in the day the national secretary advisor spoke of other military measures. have you discussed what kind of military measures? >> i think it is very important for the libyan people to protect themselves from the sky because they have no way, no means to defend themselves from the air strike. and as you know, it is sometimes, i find it very difficult when they tried to make the issue just like -- i think in the community, they are serious about the no-fly zone in libya, i think it is not that difficult. the sky very clear most of the time. but i believe now that the --
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they have seen through the media, how is the situation of libya? it is a very serious situation. it is very -- it is -- and of course the media will be able to take and to show the world. since the revolution started, i found a bit of understanding but the problem is they are wasting a lot of time. to decide what they have to do. all the options are on the table they said all the time. i said ok. take one option. we will see more recognition but this must be stopped now. now. >> thank you. >> yes. >> thank you.
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i'm from bloomberg news. ambassadors, we understand that you have just come from the treasury department and the state department. could you please tell us what was the content of those discussions that you had? thanks. >> in the united states, about $30 billion. quite important also to follow this process. it is a complicated chemistry. where gadhafi put his money and his funds. we are dealing with the -- arab states and arab countries. it is the wealth of our people. we have a team of -- to follow
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this process and i think also it would be possible to use some of this for the people regarding the food of libya and also medicine, etc. and -- the libyan people, this national council. he has the -- to use this money for the benefit of the libyan people. we have now one expert, someone to follow this issue. a meeting with the secretary and
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others who are following this issue of libya. we'll discuss what we want now, real action from nato, from the national committee, from the united nations. gadhafi is -- innocent people, as what happened today. also discussed the -- of our mission now in washington, between united states and libya and how we can guarantee our mission will help our community here, especially our students and our libyan community and
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anyhow, i think a meeting will be monday between the secretary of state department, hillary clinton and -- it will be very important. mr. sarkozy and -- our council. these revolutions are quite important. muammar gadhafi gets more weak. we should be patient. after 42 years of dictatorship, we started -- we should be patient. now world is with us.
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the european council. the united states. we hope also that tomorrow the arabs -- cairo, they will have a new vision and support our people. we don't want more -- we don't want any imperilism. no -- imperialism. we don't want any -- to be on the libyan soil. we need the technology. we need the support to have international community. i know that -- of the international community. i can't say they are reluctant to have a stand against muammar
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gadhafi and to recognize -- i asked them -- i asked them not to support the -- against our people. not to stand with gadhafi against our people. we don't want slogans. do something to stop this bloodshed. in libya. and you will never forget any action against some people who have to change the plight of our people. i speak to them. our people will never forget, anyone who gets gadhafi to kill our people. thank you. [applause] >> yes? >> it is very hard to see
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because over the lights. -- of the lights. >> thank you. gentlemen, i have a question for boat of you. in your official capacity in united states now, how much are you permitted to function like, are you working of the embassy? and also can you report to the u.n.? just if you can go over your duties now and are you under the new government? what are you achieving in the united states during this interim period? >> well, not from the state department suspension. i still have until next wednesday, i believe, the 16th, that i will be able to go to the embassy and do my job, but after that, they have to find a place to do my activities from.
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>> the libya mission, the u.n., they are supporting the uprising of our people. we have lots of diplomats now. we are freedom fighters. we are supporting our people and we are able to do that through the mass media. i don't know but i am sure -- he is he will never accept -- and to be against his people. the people is fighting -- i
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don't think he is also insane and he can come here to represent gadhafi. he will never find a libyan to represent him anywhere. and the people -- if you don't have -- for your family. we will share everything with you. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. the obama administration has not yet officially recognized the opposition council.
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they said they are awaiting insurance assurances from you what your goals are and who you represent. what assurances are you giving u.s. officials in your meetings, especially at state and treasury the past couple of days? >> the future of libya, there will be a summarizeation of -- in 1951, when we got our independence, we had 20-25 -- and we succeeded to divide -- moderate society.
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to divide the institution. so the people are able -- now we have how many -- students graduated -- don't listen to muammar gadhafi saying civil war. no, freedom takes minutes but democracy takes time. it is complicated. chemistry. tunisia became free, but to have democracy takes time. you got freedom but how long it takes to have democracy and concepts of democracy. so libya now is free. and i am sure this experience
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with gadhafi will have something different. a real democracy. we suffered from dictatorship. i think president obama is not just a president. he is a scholar. and he is working for freedom. and he can't stay indifferent regarding libya. europe is responsible for that. if you are speaking about freedom, democracy, justice, human rights, what -- our people try to say we want freedom. he killed them. they didn't -- nothing.
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nothing. they shot them. in arabic, i say -- [speaking arabic] [speaking arabic]
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[applause] >> ambassador al-jazeera. english. i wanted to ask you in regard to hillary clinton's visit when she meets in south africa next week, what do you hope will come out of these meetings and do you think there will be a request to have united states to assist in battle with the opposition and a follow-up to my colleague's question earlier, just how cohesive is the council's vision for a post gadhafi future? are you concerned radical elements may be used as an opportunity toward the nonsecular democracy?
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>> that is a good question. i think i need an hour. what time you have? now i don't want to -- we want something on the ground from the americas. what we want from america, the national community -- is quite clear. he is using against our people, against our citizens. and they are able to do that. they want to think that zsh it was lies. in libya, everyone sees what is going on. they are killing our people. gadhafi is killing his people.
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we want to stop the bloodshed. support our people. the future of libya will be done by the libyans. not by the americans. not by the europeans. we are able. we have our scholars. we have our floss first. we -- philosophers. we have our young people. we spoke about them. he told him about some detail and some technical procedure


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